These days, I typically work 10 hours in/around a steel building with concrete floors and fluorescent lighting. The environment is very industrial and, in a word, artificial.
When I walk in the door at 6 in the evening, Eli has a big smile with his little hands extended to me, all ready to go outside.
Allison and I now find it necessary to spell o-u-t-s-i-d-e in front of him, otherwise he gets disappointed if I'm not actually taking him out at that point.
The first thing I have to accomplish before chicken and pig chores with my little buddy, is to slip out of my steel toe boots, remove my socks, and roll my pants up twice.
There's something very good for my soul in placing my bare soles directly on soil and plant life.
It's a grounding experience that leaves me feeling relieved of the stress and discomfort of my artificial work setting.
All the way up until I step on a sharp stalk, or a thorn, this typically increases my stress and discomfort, so I take steps cautiously.
I place Elias in his stroller, fill my buckets with water, and make the trip to my little chicks.
Once my chicks are watered and moved to fresh grass, we head over to the pig pen and fill the mud hole and watering tub too.
By this time, Allison typically has the house smelling wonderful with a home cooked meal, so we head back inside to fill our own bellies.
This life of mine has just about everything I have ever desired. Through the blessing of the Good Lord, Allison and I have established a wonderful little home here on the South Dakota plains.