This weekend was quiet. The first in a long time. I love guests — especially family, but I also love the quiet. My husband went to Fort Worth to see our son. It was just me, the dogs and chickens, and enough space to contemplate.

And it was Earth Day.

I have always loved nature, but surviving cancer strengthened my ties to the greater world. It is a wondrous world in which we live. So I decided to create another thread — one that ties my love of the natural world with my day-to-day life.

First day.

I made hummingbird nectar because I have at least 6 buzzing around if not more. They’re fast and hard to count. Then I set off to the work.

After work. The lower gate is heavy and opens slowly. The cows were grazing the lower piece of our property. There is nothing unusual about that. I opened the gate and pulled forward, but Big Mama sensed an opportunity and took it. Two followed her.

I got lucky. My neighbor was mowing and herded them back into the property. No worries.

I pulled forward. My neighbor waved and went back to mowing his property.

I watched the gate slowly close and then Big Mama walked in front the gate. It banged back open and that was all it took.

Big Mama ran and 14 head of cattle and a horse followed.

Fifteen cows headed left … running. And one horse headed forward … running. And one woman dressed in sandals and office clothes stood in awe … and shock.

The horse came back, kicking and bucking. He herded one cow back into the property. I stood my ground. There is nothing more amazing, beautiful, and powerful as a horse in full angst. If I was smart, he would not harm me.

And so the roundup began.

It took my neighbor and his son with dog (the owners of the cows and horse), my husband on his mule, our neighbor, and me to get them back in the gate.

But they wanted to come back. A half-mile away, over the bridge, they were easily turned around. They could not be rounded up and herded back anywhere else. They wanted back exactly from where they came.