Monday, November 9, 2009

HIgh Ground and Low Branches

Seated on high ground, beneath an oak tree whose leaves are making the autumn transition from green to a burnt orange, I am able to look down and across the entire length of the pasture that thoroughbred Tennessee Walkers call home. Some are chestnut, sorrel, roan, and black in color. Some have matched and mismatched stockings. Some, a blaze on their chest or above their eyes. Some were born this spring, and they are just like kids. No reason is needed for them sprint across their playground, kicking up their heels and clumps of sod. The sun has willed itself above the treetops, and the billions of dewdrops, that sparkle like diamonds, are slowly evaporating, or nourishing the roots of the rolling acreage before me.

I passed up an opportunity to hunt this a.m., and chose to write and meditate with my feet on the ground, rather than dangling in thin air. When the desire to craft one's thoughts and observances into prose strikes, I think it is probably like the inspiration that an artist experiences, but colors are his ink, a brush is his pen, and his pages are made of canvas. When I need to write the compelling will not pass without being satisfied.

Itself invisible, a breeze sneaks up behind me. Its stealthy nature is betrayed by the shower of oak leaves that tremble and slide by me on a slant. Each time the sky exhales, acorns plop and rattle the dry, fragile leaves. Temperatures are heading south from a low of 41 degrees. It is cold enough to wear my dark western duster; a long oilcloth coat, that stiffly drapes down to the top of my cowboy boots. I think dusters are cool!

Yesterday, with horses between our knees, Josh, Cary, and I threaded between planted pines and along trails cut through scrubby oak and brambles. We crossed an earthen dam, zigged and zagged around trees, and ducked under low hanging branches. From time to time, I hung onto the saddle horn as I leaned forward looking at forest floor for scrapes and rubs - signs that the rut had begun (makes you feel like a cowboy, even if you are one of those rhinestone kind). Speaking of cowboys - I rode Cowboy, a handsome sorrel, with a long smooth gait, and a compliant temperament.

Josh rode Chalk, who is a bit cranky and rebellious. Watching Josh handle a horse, it is obvious that the thin Native American bloodlines, found on both sides of his heritage, converged in Josh. He is an incredible rider and has that mystical bond with equines that our country's indigenous people were known for. He is a gifted young man that I am so proud of and so love.

Josh has spent a couple of nights with me at the farm. Last night we both wretched and gagged as we watched the Yam Dankees win the world series. Saturday is Josh's birthday, so Miss Meagan, our perfect daughter, is driving to Columbus from Milledgeville to celebrate with a group of us that are going out to a secluded place to shoot skeet, build a fire much bigger than we need, do lots of talking and philosophising, and more than likely see one day end, and a new day arrive. Father and son are very much alike in that way. For us, there is no greater gift than the gift of God's ingenious creation.

(My apologies to those of you who received this blog unedited. Sometimes I am more grammatically challenged then others)

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