The Small Things in Life

The gravel crunched under the truck’s tires as I pulled into the farm. It was a surprisingly cold morning with a slight breeze. The kind that blows by your neck and makes your hair stand. As we stepped out of the truck, I could already hear my four legged friend – his tail slowly thumped against his plastic kennel.

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I gave the top of the kennel a few pats as I made my way around to the tailgate, telling him it’ll only be a minute. He responded with the rising tempo of his tail. I could see his eager eyes through the thin slits of his insulated box, watching me as I slowly opened the tailgate. Diesel is his name and in his kennel he looks black as the night.

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As I opened his crate, he sat and watched patiently as I took off my leather gloves. His dark eyes calmly followed my hands as I poured myself a steaming cup of black coffee from the Stanley.

I gently mentioned him forward as he sniffed vigorously at my cup – licking at the flowing steam as it rolled off the tailgate. We eventually made our way to the old farmhouse porch to sit and watch the sun slowly making it’s way through the trees – waking the world as it went.

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The air was still cool and the dew had frozen on the nearby fields – causing them to appear golden in color. My senses seemed to heighten as I watched the glimmers of sun shining through, the oaks next to me creaking as the wind blew through their leafless branches, and the sight of Diesel’s heavy breath hanging in the morning air. Time seemed to slow down and eventually I lost the concept of time altogether. It seemed to me, that in moments like these, God was truly present.

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It was the last day of small game hunting and for us – that was completely fine. We had a miserable season for pretty much everything else. We had gone out time and time again, yet Mother Nature had not graced us with too much bounty.

However, mornings like these, proved to me that it was not about coming home with a heavy game strap nor shamefully coming back empty-handed. It was, as I learned, coming home with a full understanding of your heart, soul, and where you stood with yourself.

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As I pondered these thoughts and drained the last of my coffee, I stuffed a couple of shells in my vest and shouldered my shotgun.

Making my way off the creaking steps of the porch, I paused, smiled to myself, and whistled for the sleepy mutt to come along.

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