Ranch Life

Opening Day

By Jeff GorhamKatie Jacobsen Photography -131022-10

As I pull into the ranch driveway it is quiet. The sun is up—a reminder of God’s goodness—but the air still bears the chill from the night before. Frosty patches hide under the trees where the sunlight has not yet reached. I take a deep breath of the fresh air and begin my journey up to the office. On my way, I softly call the horses to the fence line along the drive. Their sleepy, lazy eyes stir and look in my direction. Shamis, one of our expectant mama horses, comes over and trolls for snuggles. My mind mulls over the significance of the day as I stroke her neck. It’s not just any day. Opening day has arrived—one of my favorite times of the year.

I start my morning chores with a spring in my step. There is a lot to do before the children arrive for sessions. I go over my check list. “Swings up, check. Toy boxes out, check. Wood shop ready, barn clean and warm, check.”

Our one o’clock opening time approaches and the first vehicles arrive. I wait, and then I hear it: car doors slam, and the scuffle of little feet on the gravel accompanied by laughing echoes up the driveway. Excited squeals from kids abound as they spot their favorite four-legged friends in the paddock.

“The children are coming, the children are coming!” I exclaim. I run down to the greeter station and arrive just in time to see members of our herd gathered at the fence in their own unique greeting of sorts. Children puffing from the long walk up the driveway meet their leaders for the day and sessions commence.

Of all of the activity that happens year-round on the ranch, there is nothing better than hearing children’s voices fill the grounds, brush buckets clanking, laughter rolling, the stirring of horses and birds singing. Each is the unmistakable sound of God at work.

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Photos by Katie Jacobsen