And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
In the sun that is young once only,
Time let me play and be
Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold,
And the sabbath rang slowly
In the pebbles of the holy streams.
From Fern Hill, by Dylan Thomas
“But to you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.” Malachi 4:2
We had the opportunity this past week to spend a couple of days in farm country, and by lucky coincidence, we were there to watch the cattle being unloaded from a trailer into new pastures. The calves skipped through the spring-green grass, so alive and exultant that their joy was contagious. Winter has been long.
A farm, for the young, is an expansive place, and I remember my childhood exploring of fields and ponds with surrounding bulrushes, of haylofts in old barns, of picking berries from the bushes along the fence rows. In the country, nature is right next to the skin, and there’s a sense that we are in a sacred place.
Through God’s grace, we are set free from our fears and limitations, free to explore and experience all the wonders He’s made in creation. We are ” in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.” (Romans 5:2, The Message) Not only standing but running, like the young calves, with joyous abandonment “on to the fields of praise,” exuberant and elated, dancing our life.