And what can one do but await winter?
Sometimes depression isn’t chemical, isn’t disease, isn’t moods. It’s a result of circumstances.
Sometimes we have bad days, we go through hard times. Don’t ask me to smile and get over it. I need to be mad and sad for a little while. I dare say I’ll “get over it” when I’m good and ready. I’m not ready today.
What is so wrong with saying I’m bummed out and it’s got to me?
What’s a girl to do?
Saddle up and ride, I say.
Maybe that’s shallow. But it works. At least for a little while.
Yesterday the dog chased the coyote across our pasture and onto the neighbors’ field. A big no-no. All I saw was a little silver coyote about a quarter mile away, followed by Gunnar, full speed ahead. Two streaming bullets heading straight for the trees. Then I could see no more. But I could hear. And hear I did. It wasn’t hard to figure where those two went. Right into a pack of screaming wiener dogs being walked by a woman barking louder than all those dogs put together. I cringed. The neighbors up for the weekend, enjoying a leisurely afternoon stroll. Oops. I called. Like he was going to leave all that crazy commotion and come to me.
The visual was a good one though, imagining coyote bait scattering wildly in all directions as the coyote runs right past, having better things to do than grab a quick meal with my mad dog at his heels. Really, I know, I should have gone next door to apologize for the ruckus my dog caused, but it is way too late for that. These are my in-laws, and I’m the out-law. We haven’t spoken in years, and if there was a time for apologies, I think it would have been long ago. So I look at this as giving them one more reason to hate me. Add it to their long list.
Next thing you know, there is the little Bull Moose (“little” being a relative term, of course) stepping over the field fence and stirring up the horses. And I know the dog wants to chase this guy off too. What a helper. But the thought of the Bull Moose heading toward the pack of wiener dogs is a bit much, so I keep the dog on leash which makes working around the ranch a real drag.
And I confess, I had already awoken in a bad mood.
And then I’m out there. Out on the trail on the back of a horse. Heading higher, always higher. Leaving it all behind. The dog behaving well following the two horses. One I’m riding. My silly little Arab, Flying Crow. The other I’m leading along, his partner and my best mare, Tres. The more we ascend, the more the trail opens, the view expands, the leaves have left the trees. There is my yellow brick road. I am on it. Following where it may lead me, and right then and there, it didn’t matter where “there” may be.
The golden path before me, ascending to the silver sky. The clouds are building. Thunder over my shoulder. We ride on. I have my slicker tied onto the saddle. I drape the rains, reach behind me, and slip it on like a protective cocoon. Such a thin barrier against the elements of the Mighty Mountain. But enough. Just enough. Not too much. I don’t want to get soft. The rain and hail begin. An added interest, intrigue, challenge. A reminder of the harsh elements surrounding me. A reminder that I forgot my gloves. I lean forward and press my hands on my horse’s neck, scrunch my fingers into his mane. Who needs gloves when you have a warm beast below and beside you?
And for just a little while (yes, “little” is a relative term, but in this case, big enough) my mind is clear of the self created burden of my own thoughts that weigh so heavy at times, more from the value I give them than what you might think they deserve.
She crawls deeper into the cave
Back to where the light is muted and vision is vague
Awaiting total blackness to wash over like the blanket of deep night
And lies back upon the brittle rose branch
Still tangled in her hair