Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Water buckets and water troughs freeze. and the ground freezes, too.You wish for a more spiked boot as you walk with your horse back to the snowy field after your ride, worried that you, or he, or both will suddenly fall on the slick, hidden ice, lurking under the snow on the dirt lane. Mud has frozen into ruts like the tines on a yard rake, fanning out and ending at the fenceline. The only color in sight is your lead line that connects you to your horse, the one you picked out to get you through winter. It is bulky, and bright pink, and as familiar as your purse handles in your hand. At the fence you say goodbye; he will go back to standing with the other horses in his blanket you saved up for, waiting to be let inside for grain and hay and four planked walls.You will return to your work, your worries, and your day. But for that minute you are alone in the cold, under stark trees and a lowered, gray-white sky. It's quiet, and he knows you love him. A tear freezes like a diamond in your eye before it can even fall -- it may be several days before you can return to the sweet, frozen silence he welcomes you into.