Summer is such a hardworking season in our little valley.
But my friends understand the importance of balance, so we save some energy for play after the work has been done.
After the hay boys came in with the last load of the day, Dave and Barb's farm came alive for a barn dance.
It's pure fun, time for friends that feel like family to celebrate summer with play that seems like it stepped out from the pages of a story book.
I walk through the barn and spot an old plastic container hanging on the wall, words plastered across it like a sign. And it hits me again: We are the wealthiest of all people.
We are sharing things money can't buy; we truly are country rich.
Rich in faith, in friendships, in love and laughter and sorrows shared.
There's talk of weddings and crops and who has new boots.
Talk of a tragic shooting at a nearby university.
News of friends who have moved, sharing of recipes and exclamations on the growth of this child or that.
The music starts, toes tap and soon we're dancing the Barn Dance, the Macarena and line and country dances that leave you breathless, grinning.
Nobody cares if you don't know the dance, they'll just show you how.
The golden light is fading into the sapphire sky of a summer evening.
Fond goodbyes echo into the night.
I think we're all aware of how precious and fleeting these moments are.
There is so much joy my heart can't contain it all.
Thank God for simple pleasures,
for summer nights and work to do and loved ones to share it with.