In the five years since we moved to our farm, this barn has sat empty. The yard in front of its doors has grown thick with burdock, nightshade, and elm saplings. It offers refuge from the wind on winter nights when our cats won't be called inside, but has mostly sat empty.
Over the weekend we worked to remove every last burr, cleared the hillocks of grass from the doors so that they would open easily, and talked about how to facilitate the deep-snow trips we'll make to it during the winter with buckets of water.
Today our ponies are arriving. Velvet noses, braids in manes, the sweet huff of warm, grassy breath, and the sounds of hooves and whinnies in a barn...all a dream come true. The thought of kids trotting up the lane way on strong backs and whispering secrets to equine friends who will never betray their confidence calls Alison Lester's book, My Farm to mind.
These ponies will be the first mammals (besides the cats) that we will welcome to our farm. I know they won't be the last.