October 5, 2015


Madeline is the Ranchlands staff photographer and videographer.

For the first time I can remember, I am experiencing Sundays the way it seems they ought to be experienced: as a day of reflection, rest and rejuvenation.

As a college student and in some of my former jobs, Sundays were more anxiety-ridden than relaxing. After waking up in what was often hungover misery, I whiled away hours trying to hang onto the freedom of the weekend and stave off the impending resumption of responsibilities, which always inevitably took the form of late nights in the library working on homework.

Here, the nature of Sundays and the way that it fits into the flow and rhythm of the week is quite different.

We work half-days on Saturdays, so Sunday is the only full day we have off. It’s holy. I like to do my town runs to pick up groceries and run other errands on Saturday afternoons, so that there aren’t any “to-dos” burdening down the openness of Sundays. I try to preserve its sacredness.

On Sundays, I generally sleep until the ungodly hour of 7 or 8am, at which point the light in my room makes it impossible to stay in bed any longer. Emily, Becca and Kerstin come down from headquarters to enjoy a long breakfast with us that Jake whips up outside on the griddle. It’s nice to enjoy this time together, relaxed and lazy. The heart of the day is spent working on personal projects. Painting, working in the leathershop, reading, watching football, going for evening walks with the horses out in the pasture–we all while away the day in our own way.

The physically strenuous demands of the work week necessitate having this day of regeneration, just for the sake of the body. By Saturday mornings, coffee doesn’t cut it and I’m eating candy for breakfast to be able to make it through the day. But this complete physical exhaustion has the parallel effect of engendering the possibility of mental as well as physical renewal. Resetting the body also resets the mind. Sunday functions as the release–the opportunity for recalibration after days of high energy expenditure–so the contrast of having an entirely leisurely, quiet day is all the more striking, and I find that it heightens its delight. It also helps to be able to look forward to your Monday mornings, rather than dreading them. No Sunday scaries here! The day is an integral part of the week that primes me to look forward to the adventures and experiences that the coming week will bring.