Today is my day off. I have a list of things to get done – boring mundane things, like housework, and lawn mowing, and catching up on accounts. Instead, my day so far:
After a rare and heavenly sleep in I ate a leisurely breakfast, caught up on what people were up to on social media and posted some stuff. I looked around, mentally checked over my list of tasks and said, ‘Stuff that’. It’s a beautiful day outside so I think I’ll just start the day out there with the ones I know as my soulmates – my horses.
When I arrived, those I had come to visit were engrossed in their breakfast, lunch and dinner – generally a progressive task that takes up most the day, so it’s understandable that they barely looked up when I arrived. But being a curious lot, I only had to sit on a log and ponder for a few minutes before I had their full attention. The friendliest was the first to approach. She applied her usual warm greeting before returning to the task at hand, albeit nearby.
The second one, my cheeky, lovable boy, came in for his share of the attention. He sniffed my boots and nuzzled in for his ears to be scratched. After a polite lick of my hand he moved away, nibbling casually at sustenance and keeping one eye on me.
Number three is an outsider of sorts. Unlike the other two, she hasn’t lived on the property since the day she was born. She’s had a couple of prior homes and been an overseas traveler and a twice over mother to boot. When she first arrived she was an anxious little thing, quiet and gentle but suspicious, ready to bolt at the slightest provocation. But she’s been here a good while now. She’s learn’t our ways and seen that we mean only to keep her safe. She’s been to school, mastered the balance required to carry me on her back, allowed me to enjoy her strength and talent and shown me her sweet personality. She took her time, but lately she really does seem to have cast off her wariness and relaxed into us. I took myself to her. She stood and allowed me to scratch her neck, even leaned in a bit and sniffed at my sleeve.
Being around these guys is often enough for me. While their presence creates endless opportunities for exercising myself and them, I’m often simply content to watch, to smell, to touch, and to be with them. So it was today. I moved away from my guarded little girl and found a friendly tree trunk to lean against. In the weekday silence, a dozen varieties of birds were going about their daily chatter. The sky, a dozen shades of blue, performed a morning duet with the sun. How blessed I felt just to have the privilege of being out on such a day.
Just seconds after I settled myself into a crouch at the tree base, her brown head appeared beside me. She sniffed and nuzzled and licked my hand. Inches from my face, liquid eyes looked into mine. I felt her warm breath. Her whiskers brushed my cheek. We breathed each other in. My knees and ankles began a dull ache but I wasn’t inclined to shift my position. She seemed to have assumed a protective stance, standing above me with a doe-eyed calmness, head down beside mine, eyes open, just as she might stand watch over a sleeping foal.
I don’t pretend to know what goes on inside the mind of any horse, I’m just grateful to have them in my life. As I am after all, a writer, I hope this post tells a story of sorts. The day’s half gone already and I haven’t crossed a single thing off my list, Conversely, the day is only half over but already I feel completely satisfied! Whatever happens for the rest of it, today has been a truly productive day!