The drive home from work today was, as always, my reward for whatever has been required of me during the past eight or ten hours. Morning is good, but I truly love the evening - or the gloaming, as my Scottish ancestors might have said. I usually turn off the highway onto the rural roads at 7:45 PM or so and that's when the endorphins start to kick in. No more traffic...no more rigid schedule...a hot bath (or cool shower)...supper...and, best of all, my loved ones waiting there at the home place.
But there are a few little mini-rewards along the way to my haven. The old black dog, for instance, that lurks near the crossroad, just waiting for me to stop at the sign. He slinks out of the brush, keeping pace with the car until I stop rolling and the time is just right...then he barks ferociously for a moment or two before trotting back to his home, head and tail high. I've made his day, as he has mine. Occasionally he is too tired to chase me, but he is always there and I would miss him if he wasn't. And then there are the two ladies who power-walk together...I've never met them, but they are always somewhere along my route and we wave as though we were old friends. How lovely that they have each other to walk with, and how sweet that they 'include' me with their happy waves. Every four or five months, there is a new litter of kittens playing in the ditch at one of the houses...there were five this time, I think. Lovely little kitties - all different colors. They are timid and race for cover , but I catch a glimpse of them before they are swallowed up by the tall grass.
Closer to home, I stop for a few chickens who have crossed the road and now desperately want to get back - they run this way and that, looking for their coop which is right there in front of them if they would only look! If I'm very fortunate, I might see a herd of deer in the field just north of the 'chicken crossing'. How many people who live in cities would love the opportunity to see a herd of deer in the wild.
I am blessed. And I look forward seeing all of my 'gloaming buddies' again tomorrow.