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
22 thoughts on “As blue as the big sky above”
My definition of heaven is being able to saddle up and easily ride out into the beauty that surrounds you. I’d be delighted to trade places for a while! (Suburban NYC apartment with a great river view…)
Well, now that you mention it, that could be fun… for a little while.
I used to live in NYC. Learned to ride at Claremont Stables on the Upper West side. Long ago and far away, but not such bad memories.
This post brought a big smile to my face. Thanks, again, Gin :)
Thanks, Pia – and thanks for “listening.” Wondering how London was (is?). I’m all ears (eyes?) when you have the time…
There is no hurt so deep that a horse can’t fix it. Love the ride……no matter the mood….regardless of the economy…..oblivious of world and personal peril.
Oh, the horse! They are our soul mates, our guides, our partners, our friends. We are richer within for having them with us in our journey through life. They have brought (wo)man so much more than speed and miles…
You have to learn to as I have “Ignore”.Some people you can not ever please .Dont even try .I used to get on my motorcycle and just ride . The best thing to relieve tension and preasure there was .You have your horse .dog & camera .Your photos give so much pleasure to everyone that helps them get through hard days .Ignoring some people and giving pleasure to so many others .Just stand in there you are my HERO !!!
Funny, Don, because I’m reading your words, feeling your warmth and wisdom, and thinking the same thought. You are my friend, and my hero!
I cannot express with words how rich your writing + pics are. Speechless…
So glad I discovered your blog. Your photos are beautiful, your writing excellent.
One of my dreams is to learn to ride–and to get over my fear of horses. Until then I can live vicariously here.
There’s a lot of energy in crankiness. It can spur us to move, take the next step, reach. I’ll take crabby over depression any day.
Cranky? Crabby? I suppose that would be me! Of course I’d love to have you live vicarious here, Sandy Sue, but I’d also love to see you fulfill your dream and learn to ride. Wish there was some way I could help from here.
Just getting out to ride is a great antidote, perhaps the best. Work annoys me sometimes, or people somewhere, but a horse and the broad sky conspire to empty my head of bad thoughts and defuse the tension. Looking at your photos and mine, you live in a far more rugged place. But, large or small, mountains and hills have a wonderfully beneficial effect.
We are both quite biased towards the horse and towards wilds, Julian. I keep my response here short this time in hopes that I finally take the time to sit down and finish the conversation I last put off. It means a lot to me… I will write you directly tomorrow.
Thanks for the ride, Gin. I’m so glad you saddled up and spent time in good company.
In a disheartened state, I once asked an Anglican minister if only dummies have so many problems with people. She laughed and said, “Did you ever consider what the Bible is? It’s full of relationship problems. We haven’t created any new ones!”
Some would count you among the fortunate to have in-laws who have disowned you! :D
Your poem is amazing – the rose twig, thorns et al, caught in the hair did me in. I never thought it ever happened to anyone else…
Sweet and spicy words, Souldipper! And laced with a swirl of humour… thank you. So glad to have “met” you recently. Working on my next post inspired in part by the first “real” blog conversation I ventured to outside of the safety net of my site: on your site.
I love how you chose to post photos where the sky isn’t bright blue or necessarily the perfect sunrise. Of course that’s preferred but I like the emotion in a cloudy/stormy sky too. Without a couple of bad days, you can’t appreciate the good ones.
Btw, beautiful photos! Very nice colors and composition.
Thank you, Dylan. I have this thing about blue sky. If it’s “picture perfect,” I don’t want it in my picture. The clouds, though blemishes to some, bring depth, intrigue, interest for me.
Yes, I agree that clouds add a lot of character to photographs. I love watching the shadows cast by clouds flow over landscapes.
Just love the recent posts. Thanks for sharing who you are. I helps all of us get through each day, one at a time. Carolyn and I have been Chihulyating quite a bit for the last two weeks, and one month to go. I have a photo that I will email to you, of two topiary “Normans” pulling a pumpkim shaped vehicle. Ron and Karen joined us last week for a tour of all the glass. We had a super time and missed you guys not being with us. Al
Horses are the answer, aren’t they? Horses and some wild land. Its my answer to everything, too.