The Starry Night Sky

“There is nothing like the immensity of the sky to show us tiny humans our place in the universe or to show us our great worth in the heart of God.”

c e hollis
Photo by Noah Silliman
courtesy of

I rode with Ron tonight out to feed the cows (I hope to become more involved in the farm life and so build my knowledge and understanding of the goings on.) It was cold and clear . I wore my warmest black coat and a woolly pink head scarf that wrapped like a blanket around my neck.

We rode in the RTV, which fortunately can go right through huge muddy roadways, wallows, and puddles. The orchard is swamped with all the recent rains. We still have pecans to harvest but it is too wet for the equipment.

The cows being in the back forty pasture are harder to tend especially after dark but we had had company and so it was late. The cows have two hay rings, a water tank, mineral blocks, and feed troughs where we give them a daily meal of alfalfa. Bessie and Liza wait at the orchard gate and the others trail after when they hear the RTV motor. We have to shoo them away to be able to pass through. Then they get behind us and hustle along.

Two horses Whitey and Rooster run along beside. They love alfalfa too. The cows scare me even in daylight but in the dark become big hulking ghosts. They are so huge and strong and they push and shove. Good grief, I don’t know how Ron dares. He gets out and begins distributing the hay pads into the feeders. The cows push as he works––all greedy for the first and best bites.

The sky is glorious out back on a clear night. No city lights, street lights, or even farmhouse security lights interfere with the darkness. Amazingly bright and so clear the whole galaxy rolls and moves with a force not unlike the breakers on the ocean’s shore.

We pick out our favorite constellations like children lying on their backs stargazing and watching for shooting stars to wish on. The sky is enough to make you feel your smallness in the great universe and at the same time your bigness at being a part of such grandeur.

The cold wind across my shoulders, the stomping, munching, snorting cows, and Ron’s fatherly voice calming their tussling, the slosh of mud, the hoot of owls, the riffling of running water in the creek and the sight of the house lights as we cross the pasture, skirt the spooky dark woods, latch the gates, and move across the orchard and back to the house are welcoming.

The sleeping dogs get up and try to appear concerned. “We were guarding here! We were. Right! We were looking out while you were gone. We knew you were out back.” Uh-huh.

Inside we stoke the fire in the woodstove and bring in an armload of wood for the night. We heat mugs of eggnog and sprinkle nutmeg on the creamy surface––our evening treat.

Chores inside and outside on the farm give us purpose and meaning. We are a part of things––in league with God is His care for His cattle, tending rows of His trees, caring our little garden. We work with Him and there is no better co-worker.

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