When faced with a prompt of “grass” for this month’s Sunny Days challenge, my mind jumped to the time I would spend on my grandmother’s farm in the summer. There were lots of animals present, but I adored the goats most of all. There was something intriguing about that goat face, munching on grass, while staring at you with a totally blank, rather bored expression. I loved visiting when the babies first arrived as they were so incredibly cute. As a kid, I would also go home with a bit of goat milk and I absolutely loved it! When I got a little bit older my grandmother decided it was time that I might be able to help her milk the goats. I remember having my little silver bucket at the ready and staring at her imploringly as to what I should do next. “Grab the tit and squeeze down,” she would always exclaim and I would start giggling uncontrollably. This made it really difficult to perform the actual task of milking and so I was quite bad at it. In a very brief time, she would intervene, grab the tit and the milk would magically stream into the bucket. I think I managed a single successful squirt before being lost in laughter.
I often miss those days and think back to them quite often. There was a certain magic spending time on a farm. Mornings happened quite a bit earlier than they did back home, but the light was brilliant and there was such a peaceful feeling. This was long before the days of smart phones, or even dumb phones that you could carry around with you. There wasn’t a single thing to distract me from the world around me. Just my own imagination that would be filled with amazing things that I would like to do that day. After I helped with whatever chores I was assigned, I would run off in search of adventure. There were acres to explore and each little patch of grass changed each time I would happen upon it, revealing new mysteries. When I went back to visit as an adult, the farm didn’t seem quite as gigantic as I remember. It actually seemed much smaller. An acre of land was more amazing when crossing it with tiny feet. Even still, the memories came flooding back and my eyes filled with tears.
I wasn’t sad, but just overjoyed. Those amazing moments spent there were the bits and pieces of a life that helped to shape the man I became. I feel a strong connection with nature and a love of all animals. I learned about a quiet world that happens far from the nearest supermarket. A place where every creature is part of a greater purpose and treated with respect and kindness. A place where time can actually stand still, if you let it, as each sunset falls, more brilliant than the next. I sometimes find myself rushing through life these days, trying to keep up. In these moments, I travel back in my memory to those days on the farm. I try to remember what life was like before all the amazing technology that came after. Just those simple days under a warm sun that seemed endless in time and possibility. Where I could take just a little moment, and stare into the distance without worrying about anything at all, like a goat eating grass.
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham Watercolors: Pyrrol Red, Gamboge, Ultramarine Blue, and Permanent Green Pale. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!