The Chores

She is in the garden, in the middle of picking up dog poos.
An unromantic chore.
She pauses in her task and stands still.
She looks around at the trees, the sky, the mountains.
She drinks in the beauty of nature around her.
It is chilly, and she feels the wind cut through her.  Her fingers are cold.
She draws in a breath of clean, refreshing air.
She is content.

Once the garden is clear, she moves onto her second chore: collecting wood.

She goes to the log store with three empty baskets.
It is piled high, floor to ceiling, with logs her husband collected, chopped and split.
Hours of labour to provide warmth through the winter.
She pauses again in the moment.
She smells the sweet, clean scent of pine.
She feels the sharp edges and chill of the log in her hands.
She hears the birds singing outside and the wind in the trees.
She is content.

She fills three baskets of logs.  It is physical work.
She feels her breath grow quicker, her heart rate increase a little, her hands start to warm.
She takes joy in her task.
She takes joy in her body, this body that is strong enough, fit enough, healthy enough to do this work.
She carries three baskets inside, to heat the house through the day.
She is content.

Her final chore: her feathered friends are hungry.  Winter is here, and they need food.

She fills the bird feeders with seeds, nuts, grains.
She takes a moment to watch the birds line up on the fence as they wait for their breakfast.
She sees the beauty of their feathers, their bright eyes.
She takes joy in their vivid colours and quick movements.
She is content.

She is finished now with her chores.  She goes inside to the warmth of the house.

She washes her hands and savours the hot water that thaws her cold fingers.
Her husband has made coffee and started a fire.
She wraps her hands around a mug of coffee and stands by the window, watching the birds as they feed.
She is content.

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