Allow more light to penetrate
An insatiable hunger for the withering warmth
Mid day light diffused by the soft sky overcast
It is only a matter of time before the snow settles in for the season
White world we know here for half our days
Until then longer shadows leave a vague pattern
As if something man made like an endless cattle guard
On the edge of the dying meadow
The thermometer has risen to twenty. I postpone a longer walk and return quickly from feeding the horses, the dog from chasing off the magpies. I am not yet used to the cold, too soft, still holding on tight to summer ways of forgoing long johns and tall boots. The cold has barely begun.
Horses at the water trough pawing through the ice.
The doves are down to four. I see them now settled on the fence by the one big Blue Spruce that provides protection. There is literally a pile of assorted small birds behind the house, all having been run into the windows. Even the cats can’t claim responsibility. The falcon flies by and creates another fury and another bang on the window. A feather and dusty impression of wings remain before me. A clear, hard wall one can barely see. The crystals I hung in every window have not helped.
The little dark mare turns from the water and snorts. I see water dribbling from her muzzle like a silver spray of shining beads, as she stand tight , tall, alert, neck and tail high and ears forward. The language of the horse. The moose is again in the willows. Or at least, that is what she fears.
The wind rouses, rips up the remaining thin brown leaves of the bush. No lurking sent is stirred. The little mare lowers her head, relaxes her back and slowly returns to the herd.
A great horseman once told me that to learn to be a great horsewoman, all I needed to do was listen to the horse. They have all the answers I seek, he said. His wife reminded us both that this theory only works AFTER one has learned the language of the horse, and not all of us were “lucky” enough to be born into a world of great horsemen as our parents and peers to pass on such information. A disadvantage on one hand. I had to learn it all from scratch. An advantage on the other, for we learn to speak ourselves, with our own voice and manners. After the magnitude of mistakes levels out, we are left with an understanding that is ours, between the horse and me, built from the ground up like a stone castle. This is more solid, strong and real than if it was handed to me. That is at least what I tell myself. Might as well. I cannot change how nor where I was born and raised.
Not everyone is lucky enough to be born where they belong later in life. I say that on one hand yet I have heard to those that say there is a great burden that comes with “being born into…” Or are we the lucky who have the blank canvas before us and paint the picture as we will?
No matter. We can choose who, what and where we are. And we can change it all too.