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Night time on the farm is a cherished time for me. It’s my opportunity to slow down, breathe and just be. I head out to lock up chickens and close the gate at twilight, and if it’s not raining, too hot or too cold, I enjoy watching the final rays of sun disappear beneath the horizon.

For once, I don’t have to think. I don’t have to plan. I don’t have to count pennies. And if God is willing, I don’t have to chase cows. With everything that needs to be done around here, this quiet time is really a gift. Tonight, I was given a second gift. A wind has kicked up, and somewhere around here Mother Nature is contemplating dropping a few pellets of water. In the process, the temperatures have cooled down considerably, clouds have formed into delicate shapes and the breeze kept the mosquitoes at bay. What a beautiful evening.

Last night, Randy and I sat out on the back steps and watched a gorgeous light show. The lightning backlit the dark clouds with a silver white, and occasionally we saw thin streaks of it flash straight to the ground. The thunder ricocheted off the clouds and we listened as the last of the rumbles faded across the sky. Many nights we walk the lane, and the silence is so intense any word spoken is like being on a stage – your voice echoes in the pasture, and I’m sure Mrs. Dorothy can hear our conversation a quarter mile down the road. If she was outside to listen.

Our days are so packed around here, tending to animals, hoeing the garden, doing repairs or sitting on a tractor that is loud enough to interfere with your own thinking that we seldom have a chance to just stand still and listen. If we do, we hear trucks pass on the highway over a mile and a half away, or Danny or Ayn running their tractor. Cows are calling to one another; the guineas are upset and squawking; the cats are demanding attention; machinery is running in the shop. There just is no real quiet on a farm during the day.

So the quiet of the night is a blessing. My ears get a much needed break, my eyes can absorb the beauty of the sunset and my mind can rest for a while. It’s amazing to me the comfort one can get in something so simple. It costs nothing but a few minutes of time, yet it is something that is more valuable than gold.

With today’s fast paced lifestyles, all of us need some time to just relax. When was the last time you just sat outside and enjoyed a sunset? I understand all too well just how exhausted one can be by the time nightfall hits, but instead of sitting in front of the television, watching a mindless program, try stepping outside and watching the sun go to bed. No music. No television. No conversation. No thoughts. Just sit or stroll, observe the colors of the sky and watch the clouds slowly drift by. You’ll be amazed at how much calmer you will feel, and in the morning, when you have to start thinking again, I believe you’ll find that your mind is clearer, your thoughts more organized, and your life just a hint less frantic.   Try it tonight. And let me know if it works for you.