Archive | October 2016

First Light

first-light

October 26, 2016

Bohemian Grace

Nogal Canyon Road

Bent, New Mexico

 

First Light

 

My days are guided by the travails of the sun, the beginning and the ending of her journey. I awaken and depart before her glow touches the mountaintops and arrive back home well after dusk. This morning I gazed out the door of the outhouse at the twinkle of the stars and watched one fall from the sky, a good sign from the heavens. I saw two just nights ago when I took pause beneath the horizon on the far distant plain, mesmerized by the silence. It has been months since I have seen one and now the blessings are falling all around me. One should not discuss her wishes so I will suffice to say they were very simple as there is so little I require at this moment. I am satisfied to wait and see what the universe holds in store and I am back on the path of my destiny.

 

Why the change of heart? There has rarely been so much opportunity for me to utilize and yet by the very circumstance of the same I am prepared to concede. The past two months have seen me on the road as often as I have been home and I have had to be mindful of my efforts. In the same breath I have found stillness in distant places, and I need this more  than anything else. It is the same wonder that can only be found at first light, or in the passage of the same. I see now where I require far more of this than I have allowed myself for years, and nothing else is more important.

 

I sought to define first light this morning and found it to be without a definition, it too subjective for that. While I have always spoke to the moment when it first illuminated the  peak of the Carrizo so I see it differently from the canyon. From here it appears as a blue haze on the mountaintops and grows slowly as I make my rounds through the pastures. At the first gate it is absent and I can barely distinguish between the colors of the buckets. By the second gate I can tell red from blue, though I still work under the cover of darkness. When I return to the first gate the sky is lighter, and the ducks begin to arrive, a raven passes silently as well.

 

Twenty minutes later I am driving up the road as the first pink blush touches the clouds. I am to work before sunrise. I am living for the moment when I will watch the sunrise from my window, rather than my job. I am waiting for the day when I can saddle my horse before the darkness overtakes me, and ride until the sun sets. If it takes me a little longer to pay off my debts so be it, my time is more precious than that. If I do not live for the moment then it will pass before I do. I am living for first light, and it is good. Wish granted.

Back and Forth, Again

the-slue

October 12, 2016

Bohemian Grace

Nogal Canyon

Bent, New Mexico

 

Back and Forth, Again

 

I am traveling back and forth again, though now I go east and return west, rather than west and returning to the east, yet I am finding a comparable contrast by doing so. Where years back I ventured towards Datil and Dusty, and the true wilderness they guarded, now I go to Fort Sumner where the western way of life has also been preserved. What that it is a town, it is huddled in the shelter of the river valley in a wilderness of arid plain, much like that of the San Augustin Plain, but with a Spanish name, the Llano Estacado, or Palisaded Plain. The palisades consist of two caprock escarpments which break the monotonous landscape of what Wikipedia describes as, “flat, featureless terrain”. True enough, the rolling plains have little character of their own but the view of the horizon is endless and fascinating for one who has been sheltered by mountains and canyons for nearly five years. I have always gloried in the wide vistas and the fabulous sunrises and sunsets and just yesterday, driving north and breaking over into the caprock, thrill at the variations also. The ambiance of the ranch life is not lost on me either and the scattered windmills and remnants of the old homesteads and school houses give rise to much nostalgia.

 

The scenery aside it is the peacefulness which captures my attention the most and in this case it even overlaps into the community. Though I work within the shelter of the Mescalero Apache Reservation and live in a secluded canyon, so my life borders a well-traveled highway and a tourist town which, although peaceful between the racing and the ski season, is a boom town also. It has a history of the same, born into the heyday of iron and goldmines and then becoming the home of what is now the richest quarter horse race in the country. I sought this place out years ago for its ambiance but the same has faded with the growth of it. I still visit on occasion for both necessities and some entertainment but my old haunts have faded into memories also. I too have changed some with the years and don’t require the same thrills my younger days begged for.

 

Instead I am content, for the most part, with my solitude, and the peaceful haunts of sun and sky. Driving east I am drawn to stop along the roadway in the most desolate of places and exit my truck to simply taste the silence. The wind might sing across the rolling surface of the plain but otherwise there is no distraction, and traffic is negligible. Traveling at night three days ago I traveled 84 miles between towns and only met two other vehicles and saw but one large tree, standing like a sentinel along the roadside. The lights of Fort Sumner came into view perhaps fifteen miles before I arrived, scattered sparsely along the river valley. As little as I care for civilization it warmed me to see the town draw near and I can only imagine how previous travelers with less swift means of transportation must have felt to know they were close. Or those who walked The Long Walk before them…………for this was where it led to.

 

Waking in Fort Sumner has already become yet another comfort and I look forward to venturing out into the community knowing I will be greeted warmly by the residents, as I am in Mescalero. This is one of the contrasts I find between these small communities, in comparison to most others, where people feel for one reason or another more comfortable avoiding contact with one another. This small village, so isolated from the larger towns and cities, is a welcome respite from the hectic activity of the rest of the world, even if it is lively also. Being the burial place of Billy the Kid it has its own tourist draw, but it also has its share of local commerce, being the County Seat and a prosperous agricultural hub. The Pecos River breaths the life into the valley that the major highways otherwise bring to most western towns, and the railroad shoots through here also, connecting the village to the rest of the country. There is a depot though I am uncertain if the trains stop there or not. The BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) uses the facility and there has been a lot of work on the overpass and the tracks, including the addition of another set of rails after a train tipped over off the broad curve which borders the village. As if that was not enough to keep the community alive NASA also has a presence there, launching their Scientific Balloons from their facility at the airport.

 

Given all the activity which supports it the town has still maintained the peaceful demeanor which is so absent anywhere else I have been, excepting the western plains. The contrast I find in Fort Sumner is that even if the ranch life on the surrounding plain is still hard scrabble, the town has some greater sense of stability and the local populace enjoy the simple life it has to offer. The cowboy way still exists there and the warmth of families who have lived and grown together seems to have lent itself to a culture of its own. I think too that I would have been made welcome even if I was a complete stranger but due to the fact I am offering a valuable service to the village I have been greeted with handshakes and even hugs. It makes me want to stay and I find myself inclined to spend an additional day there even after my work is done to simply enjoy the comfort of doing so. I have already begun to explore the back streets of town and have jogged the road along the Bosque Lake twice. This without even venturing to the Sumner Lake which promises even more opportunities.

 

I drove back to the west last night to go back to work this morning. I listened to the bugling of the elk all through the night, though I slept well also. I stepped out the door before daybreak and heard yet another whistle echo off the canyon, this one so close I thought it could well be a hunter calling in the bulls in hopes of making his kill. I innocently walked around the corner of my studio bus to go to my truck and heard the whistle again, so close that when I looked up my eyes met that of a bull elk standing but twenty feet away. We startled each other and neither of us moved for a long moment. I even chanced to greet him good morning before he gathered his wits. He stood there a minute longer, studying me and considering his options before he trotted off quickly towards the shelter of the trees. I stood quietly and listened to the thump of his feet on the dry ground of the canyon and smiled at my luck. I thought how I would miss that part of my life in the mountains if I lived on the plains, and had to weigh the two with great seriousness.

 

I am not yet ready to uproot my life from where I have been for so long. There is a comfort in routine, as well as the steady paycheck it has to offer. Too, the trees are starting to change and the weather has cooled more here than it has in the lower elevations. Fort Sumner sits at 4,032 feet elevation as opposed to 5,823 at Bent where it quickly rises higher as it heads into Mescalero. The summit to the east is at 9,600 feet and stays snowcapped all winter, if it snows…….The summers are far hotter to the east and even if I treasure the peacefulness and simplicity the community has to offer I have to be sure it has everything else I require. I am in fact more social there, as much by necessity as wont, but it has its limits also. I can still convince myself that I could be content there for I find a peace of mind which I have missed since I left my adventures to Dusty behind me. My life has the same feel as that, the back and forth I recall from years past when I was traveling for work, and when I was torn between the two lives I lived while doing so. The reasons are the same also and the separation from the steady stream of humanity would relieve me of the concerns contained within its presence. Fort Sumner is removed from that, just as Datil was, even if there are highways which run through them both. They are secondary roads which tie back into the mainstream further on. They bring visitors but so few of them stay and they rarely find the means or even the desire to do so. Those are the places I am more inclined to settle in and at some point, when I chance to move on, I may well have found one worthy of consideration. For the moment I will be back and forth, again.

 

Sheer Joy

Two ravens

October 20, 2016

Bohemian Grace

Bent, New Mexico

 

Sheer Joy

 

You cannot tell me the raven does not fly for the sheer joy of flight, I will not believe you. What else would it be that sends him tearing into the wind with wings set and tail turned with the effort, his feathers fluttering in the endeavor? There is no room for mistakes but the thrill is worth the risk. I want to fly with him, challenge the breath of the heavens that pushes against his flight, and then turn into the torrent, racing the currents. I am jealous.

 

How often I have watched him soaring on the thermals and tumbling through the sky. He does acrobatics just for the pure joy of it, and he glories in flight. I have watched him from afar, as he too has watched me. I have lain still on the mountaintop for the pure pleasure of observing him. He has circled above me out of that same fascination.

 

I would be a raven today, or a hawk, if such were possible. I would fly until my wings ached, and then fly further. I would test my strength as I flew into the wind, and then balance on the wind stream as it carried me further. I will have to settle for being grounded, but so I will try to focus on the same. Flight is like focus; you had best stay on task, and never forget the sheer joy of doing so.

Priceless

priceless

 

October 18, 2016

Bohemian Grace

Nogal Canyon Road

Bent, New Mexico

 

Priceless

 

The morning clouds streak the sky like a horse’s mane in the wind. I want to ride that horse off into the day and gallop across some broad plain into the endless horizon. If such wishes have always defined my life I see where I have deprived myself of them also. If my daily musings so often reflect my desire for their equal, so they speak to the denial. Certainly there has been some joy in the last few years of my life, adventure and discovery, happiness and companionship, yet far too little of them in the end. I have fallen into the trap of the elusive pursuit of financial freedom in the very name of the same. It is that which holds me here as anything else, even if the dream remains.

 

So recently I ran down a path along a slough and laughed aloud as I ran. That same hour I lay on the dock over those same waters and basked in the sun, content to savor the stillness. How long has it been since I had done either, or felt such pleasure in the moment? I cannot say, it has been that long……….Can I then put a price on my happiness and serenity? The things which have brought me the most joy in my life have always been priceless, in every sense of the word, and they always will be. They are the wind and the sky, the sun and the moon, and those moments of pure joy when I can only laugh aloud to express them. It has been a long time since I have done so but I am slowly rediscovering that.

 

I want to feel the sway of my horse’s body as he stretches and runs. I want to sit quietly astride his broad back and watch his ears for his next thought. Riding has always been a meditation of sorts, the horse my mantra and the beauty of nature the serenity. It is that very stillness I require now, above anything and everything else. So I would have it that I could sit on that solitary dock over the quiet waters of the Bosque Redondo and wait for a tug on my fishing line. I would even be satisfied to be perched on a rock on some high point of the Plain with but the rolling grasslands to capture my eye. I should be content.

 

If I have centered so much of my attention on my debts, my duties and the welfare of one other who had no regard for his own, so I have redirected my attention. If just yesterday I struggled to even gather my thoughts today the clarity has been restored to me. The clouds at dawn were all it took, and the remembrance of the freedoms I have always treasured. I have the assurance that they are still within my reach. I forget sometimes, a thought which reminds me again of how precious every moment is. I have no way of knowing how long I will remember, or have the chance to embrace the present moment and there is no way of knowing! It makes every moment all that more priceless, doesn’t it!

How Would I

mescalero-morning

October 13, 2016

Bohemian Grace

Nogal Canyon

Bent, New Mexico

 

How Would I

 

How would I choose to recall this day, when I may well reflect on it a year, or even years from now? I look back often, having chronicled my life in my near daily reflections. I look back not so much to reminisce as to reflect on where I was and which lessons I was learning, and I glean whatever positives I can find from those that I may progress further going forward. Otherwise I ask myself, when I find the darker or sadder thoughts, how can I or how have I improved on that. I am quite certain I have managed to grow and survive because of that practice and I need only reach back a year ago to be assured of it. My faithful followers could also affirm that also, they have shared those reflections with me and I can only hope we have learned together!

 

How would I choose to recall this day and what will I need to do to assure it is notable. I see where this statement alone, this question, could well be the way to begin each day that I might strive to make more of it than it otherwise would be. I will notate this as a day in which I wrote and reflected on the same, making my efforts towards the writing richer in itself, as it will be shared. I will also recall the moments before the dawn when the thunder and lightning carried the rain across the canyon, wakened me with its rattle on the roof, and then departed. I might have missed that if I was living in a house but the metal roof of my bus resounded with the downpour. I am glad that it did, I love the storms and how unusual it is to have a thunderstorm at dawn in mid-October. There was still lighting when I went outside, an hour later, flashing in the nearly cloudless sky. Such wonders to waken to!

 

I will recall also the thrill that went through me when the first cool breeze, still moisture laden from the rain, caressed my cheek when I stepped out to feed the horses, the morning still dark. How can I describe that but to say it was as if a human hand caressed my face and the thrill was no less touching, and it warmed my spirit with its gentleness. I spoke a word of thanks before I moved on, taking pause to savor the emotion. If this is a product of my solitude then all is well with me. I find joy in the simplest of things and without any distractions they surround me all the time. I found the same wonder with the dawn when the first light illuminated the then solitary cloud which peaked gently over the mountain top. I captured it on film before it bloomed further, poetry in motion.

 

One of my dearest friends asked me a question yesterday afternoon. We were reflecting on the simplicity of my life in comparison to his and how he envied it to some degree but had no desire to sacrifice his personal comforts either. He queried, “How did you come to live in a school bus?” I explained that I had a house, but it is an hour away from where I work and too far to drive each day. I told how I had arrived here in an RV which soon proved to leak profusely and that I, who has lived so close to the elements for years suffered greater discomfort in those few days than I had ever in memory. The bus was already available but unimproved and as soon as my son could remove the seats I moved into it, bare bones but safe and dry! Four years later I have a castle of sorts and it is easier to heat than any other dwelling I have ever lived in, and equally as comfortable also. If not for the confines of the limited space and the low slung windows I could envision it as a permanent dwelling. I could go on but this isn’t about my bus…………

 

What I wish to recall about this day is that I have been reminded of my good fortune to have chosen such a simple life, even if others might find so little to envy. I set a goal for myself as a very young woman, that I would keep my life simple and savor each day to its fullest. I do not always practice this, or even have the opportunity to do so but in so many ways I have the freedom to accomplish that. My priorities have not changed much since my youth, only my obligations! The things which bring me the most pleasure are immaterial, they are the thunder and the rain, the sunrise and sunset and the simple comforts of staying warm and dry and good food. I have yet to understand why it takes so much effort to attain those things but I, as everyone else, am tangled in the web of necessity. It is my primary focus at this moment to be disentangled from the same, and to simplify my life even further from here on.

 

My friend reminded me of the fact that my life is unique in comparison to his and most other peoples. In spite of having written about the same for all the years I can recall I still forget that. What others sometimes marvel at is for me the only way to be, and I have remained true to that principle. It is also worth sharing and as I told my friend as we ended our conversation, he might be just a little happier if he took pause for a moment and reflected on how little he really required to meet his necessities. Even I have to do that on occasion, but I am getting better at that also. How else would I wish to recall my life?

You Made Me Laugh

 

 

phone-pictures-971

October 7, 2015

Bohemian Grace

Nogal Canyon

Bent, New Mexico

 

You Made Me Laugh

NOTE: Please note I wrote this piece a year ago today, so much has changed since then! Being a writer allows us to express our deepest feeling and emotions in a manner we might not otherwise be able to do, they would instead remain in our thoughts. Having a blog opens the door to share those things, even if some might be better off unsaid.  The following is a soul baring piece but a wonderful lesson also and I hope that those who read it will see the humor, as well as the lesson. I for one am far better for having experienced it. No regrets!

You made me laugh today. Sadly you only do this when you are drinking, which makes me cry. All the same, I cannot resist your company when you are intoxicated, and it is the same for you. The sad part is that I spend the whole time you are drunk trying to get you sober. It always works in the end, though sometimes it takes a week or two. Then I don’t hardly see you again, until you start to drink. We have been doing this for almost four years, we both know the pattern.

 

You would think we would grow tired of this, me of your foolishness and you of the sickness, but we don’t. It seems it is always too much fun in the interim, even if it is painful for both of us. It breaks my heart to see you wasting your life and ruining your health. It breaks your spirit to shatter your routine and bring such illness to your body. You don’t get sick when you are drinking; it is the hangover that will kill you.

 

You made me laugh today, your candid humor and spontaneity is a joy and a pleasure. It betrays your serious side and the sober guy would cringe if he could witness it, but he cannot. Sadly it is the best of times which you will never recall, the laughter and the tears, the meals I cook and the warm hugs I receive in return. You are my best friend when you are drunk, and your own worst enemy, and it gets worse as time goes on. I am watching a gradual decline which frightens me because it is the very source of my own weakness.

 

You made me cry just yesterday. You rarely call me when you are sober and I have learned to gage your intoxication by the tone of your voice and the frequency of your calls. You will only call once when you are starting, as if to warn me and to comfort yourself, you are safe if I am here. You will call two or three times if you are already drunk and if you need a ride you won’t stop, I think you hit redial sometimes, at least in your head. I am the voice of sanity when there is no other sound to guide you. You called a lot yesterday, and you kept calling until I found you. You were so drunk you made me cry and when I came back later I cried again when you played that song for me, you started it over three times because you wanted me to hear it. You told me, this song is for you, and we both got teared up, such fools as we are. The song was, “You Can’t Say I Didn’t Cry.” You are always on target, when you are drinking.

 

My greatest fear is that I will someday weaken and lose the sharpness of my judgement. I am afraid I may sink into the oblivion which is my mothers’ mind, she who drifts along unguided but still occasionally comes back to shore. I asked myself the other day, ‘When did she start to fail?’ and realized she was always failing; it just took a while for her to complete the process. I am strong because of that and I don’t want to grow up to be like her. I want to instead preserve the tender innocence she graced me with, the same treasure reflected in my voice, which I also got from her, and the sense of humor, that I get from you. I think I have my fathers’ strength, though I am not always sure of that either and I don’t always like him very well. It is your failing which keeps me on task; you are the constant reminder of the alternative which I never want to take.

 

You ask me why I put up with your bullshit, because you call a spade a spade, and you know just who you are. I try to explain that to you, but as you always say when we ask why you don’t stop drinking, “It is hard.” I put up with you because for some foolish reason you are the only person I can put up with and I love you as I have few others in my life. It is as foolish an addiction as your drinking and the outcome is equally assured, it will be painful, as it always has been. I buried all of the other guys a long time ago and I do not want to do the same with you. That is also why I stay; I can prolong the agony for us both, though I doubt that I will win. There is another reason also, I am so afraid of failing myself that I force myself to be strong. You have made me better at that than I have ever been and as long as you are here I will never forget. It makes it hard to leave.

 

Here is the sad part. I am better off alone and we both know that. I have been trying very hard to pull away for that very reason and it is why I am writing again, I write a lot when you aren’t here. But I write because of you also and you inspire me with your own lack of the same. You point it out to me also, your desire for the richness I weave into my own life and it is what you love me for. I am the light in your darkness when you are drunk. If only you could learn to do the same when you were sober! If such were possible we could laugh all the time, and never cry again…..

 

October 7, 2016

 

We finally parted three months ago when I prepared to leave him and he kindly left me instead. I didn’t cry, there was more reason for joyfulness than sadness as I discovered that the crisis I had allowed into my life all revolved around his failures, not my own. I also learned something; sometimes we convince ourselves we need to do certain things to maintain our stability only to discover we have succeeded in the process. I know now that I do not require adversity in my life to remain strong, because I am strong. Karl helped me see that lesson and I am grateful for that, it was worth the tears it required to discover this. And the laughter made it worthwhile also, though I have laughed more in his absence than I have in a long time.

 

We all come into each others’ lives for a purpose and he drove home a lesson which is one of my favorites. “We are all teachers and we best teach what we most need to learn.” In trying to save him from himself I may well have saved myself in the process! I am as content with my life as I have ever been and he helped me to get there, I hope somehow I have done the same for him!

 

 

 

On Talking To Coyote

sunrise1

October 5, 2016

Bohemian Grace

Nogal Canyon

Bent, New Mexico

 

For Vincent Mann with thanks for the inspiration he shares with us each and every day!!!

 

On Talking With Coyote

 

I woke to my alarm at 5:15 this morning, interrupting a dream of Apaches and Navajos, who weren’t fighting, thank you. If I cannot recall the content of the dream I do know it was vivid enough to feel as if I was walking in another realm before I awakened, and I have long felt that such is possible. Often enough I have made passage through that doorway to have the sense of other lives and feel they parallel the present. So it was I began the day with a strong sense of balance, and wishing I had another hour to rest and enjoy it.

 

Instead I pushed on and minutes later stepped out my door into the final darkness before the dawn, with the stars still bright in the sky. I spoke those words of thanks that flow unbidden from my lips as I breathed the cool air of the new day. I noted it was a little colder than yesterday, but then it is fall and it is supposed to be that way. No complaints, it is my favorite time of year. As I stepped around the corner of my bus I heard a rumble of hooves and a large herd of elk, twenty perhaps, went thundering up the mountainside. I apologized out loud for startling them and then paused to listen to the fading sound of their hooves on the ground. Before they were gone I heard a bugle from the bull who must have paused to speak as they departed. If my heart was already full it lifted higher with the sound.

 

Dawn found me with buckets in hand and thinking how fortunate I am to live as I do, even if I am working a little harder than I care to. Ten hour days with feeding horses morning and night, another 40 minutes at each end, is filling my time well, but I enjoy it also. The physical effort alone is enriching but the peace of the morning and the evening is essential and I love the horses. Neither did they disappoint me this morning as the chill air sent the young colts to running and bucking for the sheer pleasure of doing so, even after their buckets were filled. I have to admit to growling at them, as they come too close sometimes and are inclined to kick, but I still enjoyed watching their banter.

 

Rounding the corner and stopping for a gate I then heard coyote, voicing his joy as well. He howled and laughed and I had to answer him. I spoke softly at first, as my neighbors light was on and I was a little embarrassed to have them hear me. Driving further off I then abandoned my concern. I have long let my feral self take charge as she will and there is some of the wolf and coyote in me as well, my howl close enough to theirs to elicit an answer. We conversed several times but coyote kept singing longer than I did. My howls soon turned to laughter instead and the joy of the new day was enough to remind me of how fortunate I am to live as I do. Too, for the moment I seem free of all concern. Other than my usual contemplations there is such a clear lack of crisis in my life as to make me wonder how much of the same I have created in the past. Certainly we all have legitimate woes but beyond the need for our immediate necessities how many of those are of our own making?

 

The ducks flew in as I made my return round to the final gate and I thrilled at the flutter of their wings, as always. They are certainly the more ungainly of the birds here, crashing on their breasts and pitching forward when they land on solid ground, but then it is a wonder they fly at all. Their wings are shorter than most and their flight appears to be a frantic effort compared to the hawks and the ravens. I bade coyote goodbye as I closed the final gate and turned to take a picture of the breaking day, the sky glowing pink and blue with the dawn. I turned to watch the ravens circle on the mountain top thermals and thought again how blessed I was as I headed to work. Again I considered my good fortune, and how I should savor the moment as they pass so quickly at times.

 

I stopped to open the gate to my workplace and took a deep breath as I did. The air was filled with the rich smoke of a juniper fire, the Apaches favorite wood and mine as well. First fire, harbinger of fall and the sacred smoke filled me as everything else had this morning. I stopped to make the gesture to the smoke, calling it to bless me, cupping my hand in the air to bring it towards my person that I might be cleansed and protected as the sage would do. My Native friends have rubbed off on me over these years, just as they have all of my life. I reflect on their blessings and the morning prayers which I have made my own and again I say thanks. With all the beauty and wonder of nature, and of life itself, there is nothing else I can ask for. May all be well today!! Ixehe, Thank you!!!!!

Precious

sunrise

 

October 4, 2016

Bohemian Grace

Bent , New Mexico

 

Precious

 

What would I do

Without those subtle reminders

The touch of the wind

On my face

The glow on the horizon

At dawn

Or the soft nicker

Of a hungry horse

 

Would I simply forget

All which is precious to me

And willow away

With the passage of the years

I should think not

But I don’t want to know

There are some things

You don’t want

To put to the test

 

The mornings are always the best, when I bemoan having to wake early to feed the horses, but sure I don’t want to miss it either. I leave in the darkness of predawn. By the time I have the buckets loaded dawn is eminent and there is enough light to feed, and to see which colt might plow me down if I am not mindful. Usually they are calm, it is too early for such foolishness, but the cooling of the weather makes it different, even before dawn. The colts always see me and nicker gladly, wanting to be fed first, and the mares meet me at the gate.

 

Today, as always, was precious. The cool breeze spoke to a windy day and the dust from yesterday still hung in the air, beautiful all the same. The treetop stood empty where yesterday the ravens spoke to me, but the ducks were close by. There is something in the whisper of a wing in the morning air which always grasps my attention and today was no exception. I noted too the swell of the ribs on my favorite mare, her belly beginning to fill with her first foal. The older mares are already getting heavy, even though they are months away, and I had doubted at first if she was even with foal. I know now she is and hope she will mellow with the new life she will have to tend to.

 

I was reminded again about the things I so require for my happiness, and so grateful for their presence in my life. I saw it last night too, when I arrived home at dark thirty, having worked a little late and feeding horses at sunset. The crescent moon was already up and one bright star twinkled below it, too elusive to photograph, but captured in my mind instead. The air was still, as it was this morning, in spite of the wind, and the silence was stunning. Maybe the wind forced that after it howled through the day, one doesn’t notice it until it stops…..Having perused some old houses in a small town where I’ve been working on the side I had to question myself. For a moment I had forgotten how precious the solitude is and how much I require it. No matter how affordable, or rustic, those old houses are I will never be a town girl. I need the star filled darkness of the wilderness to fully meet my needs. I wonder sometimes, with the passage of the years, if I am ever going to find that place and stay, but I have yet to give up either.

 

This morning reminded me again of how precious peacefulness is, and how little else I need. Though I could have slept past the dawn it was worth rising early to remember that, and to savor those moments before I went to work. I’ve been working a lot lately, and in the absence of other distractions moving forward as well, working towards the dreams I have yet to realize. I am closer now, but I’m older also, and grateful for the reminders of all that is most precious. How lucky I am to have never forgotten that, and to have the assurance I never will.