If I ever doubt the restorative nature of.. well, NATURE, again… kick me in the butt, wouldja? Was feeling weepy and low this morning, the kind of morning where you don’t shower, you don’t even bother with fresh deodorant or a bra, you look and smell and leave a slime trail behind you like a slug… I picked an argument with my husband as he was headed out for work, cried sad salty tears, and then started slinging the 500 twinkling magical fairy lights at the Christmas tree, in a hateful, sluglike manner… Beane took one look at me and said, mum, let’s get outta here, let’s take the horse for a walk.
I almost said no, but then God spoke to me and said, say yes, idiot. Because sometimes God has to get stern with ya.
We checked for hunting season (onaccounta both the horse ANd we are deer-colored), grabbed the tiny halter and lead, and harnessed the goofy WAY overly cheerful pups (Poppy gets so excited to go on an adventure, she tries to put on her own harness-true story),grabbed water and cell phones, and headed down the hollow.
The horse was beside herself to be out and about, jumping and lunging and dropping and rolling and throwing her head. She’s kinda wild for the first few minutes, but Cassie kept ahold of her. I had the two dogs, who at first were scattered about like crazed drunken bloodhounds, chasing squirrel tracks and possible bears and kimodo dragons who had surely been there the night before…but they eventually settled into a cool kinda sled-dog vibe, travelling together, neck and neck, actually pulling me thru the snow. Which was useful, because my old-school snow-boots weighed 42 lbs each, and were 2 sizes too big, plus as a BONUS became UNTIED, so I scuffled along like Slappy the Clown, my feet flopping about and my socks working themselves all the way down and off my heel and pooling around my toe area, which as you can imagine was the most annoying thing ever. EVER.
At several places in the trail, giant colossal ridiculous gargantuan trees had fallen in the months since we’ve walked here, so amazing to see, like we’re looking at dinosaurs, and Cassie said, why didn’t we hear them fall, it’s right behind our house… so we had a little existential tree-falls-in-the-forest moment…
We walked the same trails and the same windy road I’ve walked a thousand times, with Aunt Sis, with Veronica, with Sherman and Chester and Shawnee, with my kids, my dad, my husband, my sister, with Lily, with Tex…, we saw the same old sights, Mr. Pease’s place, Mack Farm, Helker’s place… all of it’s changed, new owners, new buildings, “no-hunting-no-trespassing-stay-outta-here” signs posted everywhere, Macks and Helkers and Peases long gone… but I still see them, I see Mr. Pease’s bald head, and Mrs. Pease’s fluffy white hair, and where their house stood, and the little hill where Mack farmhouse used to sit, and Helker’s place, their tar-paper tin-roofed shacks long, long gone, replaced by a modular home with cozy stoked fire smoke rising and a real shed with siding and roof… these people keep sheep, Helker’s kept cows. Maybe they had sheep too. I remember trying to walk through their shack, with Aunt Sis, why were we there, I think the old man still lived there, but there was garbage piled everywhere, with one tiny path through the room, it was a hoarder thing, that’s my impression now, it was dirty and stacked, newspapers, tea cups, old crusty clothing… but I can’t remember why we were there, his family would’ve been already moved to new mexico…
I thought I would get cold, but I didn’t, we had to work hard to get back up the hills. The road was salted well, so it was crunchy and rocky and snowy at the same time. I worried about the horse’s hooves on the sharp rocks and salt, and then I thought about why we shoe horses, because we never shoed Sherman, and then I wondered if it’s just because of the extra weight of a rider, in which case, Juniper will never have anyone on her back, so that’s not an issue. Too tired to google it right now.
We put Juniper back in the pasture and she trotted up and down the fence, snorting and whinnying. I think she wants to go again, I know how she feels, because I went back in the house, snorting and whinnying myself… but in human terms. I felt better. I called my friends who had called in the morning, whose calls I had let ring through to voice mail. I said thanks for calling, I’m back now. I left the building for a while.
I made a second pass at the tree lights, this time with a little patience. I even did the multi-colored lights, instead of the white, Martha be damned! Franki likes the colored lights.