Oh Happy Day!

The weather has been dark and dreary for a week. This is what winter looks like here in these mountains, often for a month at a time. No sun. All color drained from the landscape, grey smothering clouds scudding along the ground, a cold wet wind. One adjusts to the dark and gloom eventually, but when it first sets in it can be… dispiriting.

So when I drove to the farm yesterday morning and saw the mountains reappear through a break in the clouds, my heart leapt.

In my mind’s ear I could hear the soft beginning chords of the gospel song, Oh Happy Day.

As I drove down the dirt driveway, the Brant flew in from the back acres, circled high overhead, and dropped into the barn paddock. I was grinning. All my animals soon recognize the sound of my truck engine and come running. Perhaps even the wildlife are becoming trained? But at the very least he was still alive. Oh, happy day!

In the tack room, Boo was sitting in his cat fort on the desk, looking up at me. Wary, but not terror-stricken. Oh, happy day!

I milked Katika and then let Duke out for his breakfast (I leave him the front teats). While he was nursing I spread the morning’s hay ration in flakes around the frozen paddock. The light was steadily coming up as the clouds rolled away. It was beautiful.  Oh, happy day!

I turned all the animals out, including little Duke. Duke has been outside before but the weather’s been so nasty, cold and wet, he’s been indoors for a week. Zowie! He was in heaven!

Calves express happiness by galloping around with their tails in the air…

… bucking and kicking …

and throwing in the occasional surprise leap or double wing.

At first all the other animals scattered as Duke barreled through, but within five minutes they realized this was just baby hijinks and merely glanced up, still chewing.

At one point Duke paused for a moment, little sides heaving, to greet Rocky. Both boys clearly want to be friends, but communication is hampered by Rocky’s weaning ring. My, what sharp whiskers you have!

Much simpler just to run for joy!

I was smiling so hard I had tears in my eyes. 

Lucy and I searched for Oh Happy Day on Youtube when I got home. Here’s a great, long version from a Canadian gospel choir. It builds slowly but inevitably…by the end you want to jump up on a tabletop and dance. After supper Lucy confessed, “I’ve had that song stuck in my head all day!” Me, too.

There are worse things.

Oh, happy day!


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