We approach from the West across a long, wide pasture where brown cows graze. Not my cows. Someone else's cows because that's work. But I like the look of cows in my front yard. A wood covers the back forty. Tall, straight trees cooling the morning sun. Apple trees grow to the left-side, wooden bee hives tucked in under their gnarled branches. Off to the right, a riot of wildflowers, buttercups, chicory, and Star-of-Bethlehem. Split rail fencing keeps the animals out and away from the tasty blooms.
A long gravel road leads up to the house, skirts through the orchard and dwindles into a path entering the weald. Follow along the moss and pine needle covered trail and you reach a low, wide rocky river that guards my back and provides a relaxing soundtrack for the space. Large, flat boulders provide shelves for meditating, sunbathing and feet dunking.
Fierce, white geese guard the perimeter from unwanted guests, patrolling with their chicks in tow, barking orders and warnings, keeping the three farm horses in line.
Of course, the person really in charge of this idyllic spot is Fred, the border collie who lives with me.