This morning the farm is as cold and silent as the moon. No roosters crowing. No guineas calling buck wheat. No sheep and goat's voices when they see me on the porch. All gone.
The heart and soul of the farm left it behind a week ago. The animals were given new homes. Yesterday I gave the chickens away but couldn’t catch the guineas. They disappeared in the night. Fled from a place that was empty of their family.
The dogs still bark but they are going too. And then the cats. Already mostly silent shadows. They all know something is wrong. They are tense and follow me around closely afraid I will disappear too.
It’s hard to decide to stay or go myself. How can I stay in this place that is permeated with him? How can I leave the only place I have that is still filled with him? I can’t have him to hold anymore. I can’t see his face. Hear his voice. But he is still here, faintly floating like a ghost.
Clothes with a faint trace of him that I can bury my face in late at night and pretend for a moment he is still here when I wake up in a panic. His books and music and favorite things scattered around. They are all going too though. I am packing them in boxes and he will come and sweep those last bits away from me.
But even once he takes everything material he will still be here. In the fences he built. The wood he chopped. The garlic and shallots we planted together a few months ago for a harvest this Spring. In the barn where he built the stalls and his shop by hand.
A long ago shining year where it was just us and we were rebuilding from the ashes a new life. Two people who invested a lot of love, sweat and tears in this farm. Part of me always hated this place because I feared he loved it more than me. But part of me put my soul here too.
Animals born and then giving their life for our sustenance. So many little souls I watched being born. Watched them take their first steps towards their mothers. Tensely waiting to be sure they found the teat and managed to thrive. Chicks, ducklings, goslings. Keeping them warm.
Gardens planned with hope and seeds bought in the depths of Winter. Seeing the cold go and the green creep up. I have seeds but no hope. An almost barren garden that will never be planted. The asparagus will come up no matter what. The shallots and garlic too. Bitter herbs for a tired and bitter soul.
I will stay here for awhile. I am turning into a ghost myself. Silently wandering the paths carved here by people and animals. He tells me to move on. That one day I will be happy again. That maybe one day I will find someone else that makes my heart sing again like he did. I can’t see that future. All I see ahead is as foggy and grey and cold as this morning here.