I slip my feet into boots and then into snowshoes. I am carrying a big pail of warm water for the animals. Everything is frozen in the depth of this cold snap.

As I walk the only sound for miles is the crunching of my snowshoes in the snow. I look around and the snow is glistening and the trees are blanketed in snow. I am deeply grateful to be part of this scene.

My silent appreciation is abruptly shattered as something furry comes crashing towards me, ungracefully sliding into my legs. It’s my dog Mischa “moon howler” who’s come from her patrol of the woods to say hello and help with the chores. She loves this land as much as I do, maybe more.

I laugh and pet her head and she accompanies me as I make my way to the chicken coop and then the wood furnace. I toss a few logs on the fire and then we part ways. Mischa races back into the woods to patrol and I head inside greeted by the aroma of freshly brewed coffee.

There are a lot of moments just like this and I appreciate every one of them.

The best thing I have learned since moving to this homestead is the art of slowing down, seeing and appreciating everything. It seems as though my natural senses have awakened and I feel more connected to everything around me. This land nourishes me and I do my best to nourish it. The canvas and brush strokes are forever changing and it never ceases to be remarkable. We spend so much time searching for things to complete us all the while ignoring and moving too fast to see the gift that is right before us.

I am grateful.

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