Barn Light









The light by the barn that shines all night
pales at dawn when a little breeze comes.

A little breeze comes breathing the fields
from their sleep and waking the slow windmill.

The slow windmill sings the long day
about anguish and loss to the chickens at work.

The little breeze follows the slow windmill
and the chickens at work till the sun goes down—

Then the light by the barn again.

~William Stafford, from The Way It Is







For years I was convinced that vapor lights turning on at dusk had no place on our farm.
Light pollution and all that.
Then I got older and awkward enough to stumble in the dark on uneven ground while walking to the barn — I needed a light to help me avoid a face plant.

We now have motion detection lights that turn on when I approach.  They provide illumination just long enough to get me where I need to go and once I’m safely inside, they fade out and allow the sleeping barnyard the cover of darkness it needs.

The sun itself is a kind of motion detector in reverse – a motion activator/deactivator.  When it is time, it turns on to get us moving and we are spurred to the work of the day.  When it is time to rest, it shuts off and we become still as chickens in a roost.

It is the rhythm of work and sleep that we need in our lives – a cycle of activity and rest.

And today is Sabbath – the Light is On us.
Even so, we are to stop and listen, cease work and rest.








3 thoughts on “Barn Light

  1. Beautiful imagery, Emily. Thank you. The cloud formation in the first photo is haunting. I keep going back to it.. It has form, a definite shape. It reminds me of when my brothers and I would lie down in the grass, scan the skies, and give names to the different formations. There were many times that we imagined that a particular formation was God (we had not yet been educated about the mysterious ‘Trinity’). That, I think, was the beginning of our childish view that God was always watching us– and taking notes whenever we were doing something that he did not approve. What a tragedy that we heard so much
    about sin and very little about God’s love. That would come later when I began my search for the ‘real’ God that Jesus came to tell us about. I have not been the same person since that incredible ‘find’ and the gifts that followed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, today is the Sabbath….and also the 18th birthday of two of my 12 grandchildren. Twenty of our family went to church together where Ean and Ali were re-baptized as adults. Then to have a huge family and friends birthday party…. What a wonderful way to celebrate, to have so many people that have helped form these two wonderful young adults spend the day together….8 grandparents, 9 cousins, aunts and uncles, and numerous extended friends for a lifetime. God was smiling for sure. More than once I reminded myself the farm work would wait until tomorrow.
    Thanks Emily for your faithfulness in sharing your beautiful pictures and words.

    Liked by 1 person

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