The last crescent of a winter moon gives its glow to the snowy frost along the hill sloping toward the shed. Between the moon and the ridge, elm trees along the fence line stretch the black of their brushy ends against the orange rim of the eastern sky. That color fades into the blue of earth’s great dome while the brighter stars keep hold beyond the light of the moon.
Somewhat closer to the ridge than to the moon, I walk through the crusted grass, my boots breaking loose the frost in passing. The horses snort and trot up from the lower end of the lot, shaking their heads in anticipation. As I open the door to the feed room, they stand in the round pen, blowing a fine vapor into the clear air.
I mix the feed, shake Cisco’s share into the feeder inside the shed, take Jack’s around to the one hanging outside. While they go about their business, I go about mine, carrying a bale of hay to the feeding rack fastened against the outer side of the shed. Jack seems oblivious to me as I break open the bale, lift packed flakes of brome over the top of the rack.
That done, I fill the water trough, pick up the empty bucket and head back toward the house. By now, the sky is brighter and only a few of the brightest stars remain visible. In another ten minutes, even they will disappear.
Often in the darkness of this world’s nights, there are many things that seem to gleam and beckon us. But those who have seen the Son as he truly is have found a light that does not fade with the passing of days.