View from Mattie’s Pillow

This morning we fed the horses in the dark, as usual, then made coffee and scones and watched the Inauguration. Our friend John came over and we made an event of it–gathering at 7:30am, sleepy still, but sweetened by honey-buttered scones and the joy of the crowd on the screen. After the speech and the hoopla–and after Bush’s helicopter took off for the last time from the White House lawn, we sat and talked and sipped warm coffee as the windows gradually lightened. My son, the dancer, called from New York; I’ll call my brother later today. Now the sun is up above the edge of the ridge; the fresh snow glows with creamy light; everything sparkles and seems new.

We talked about the dark of the year and how it affects us. John is here for his first winter and he’s feeling a bit ragged and sluggish. We assured him that this is part of winter in the far north: the dark and cold settle in together, our blood thickens, we go into a kind of mental hibernation even though we go about the motions of daily life. The difficult time comes when the light begins to return and our energy builds, but the snow is still thickly spread across the ground, the ground itself frozen solid, the deep cold still possible for months to come. It’s friendship that brings us through. When despair creeps into our hearts, a conversation or a good laugh can stave it off for a while. Or it’s our animals. When I need grounding, I go out to the corral and brush Mattie or detangle Sam’s mane–even when it’s too cold to stay out long or too slick to longe or ride.

Still, in the light shining now across the corral–the horses standing still and sideways to it, absorbing every ray they can, storing up energy for the rest of the sunless day-I can feel my own reserve of energy, hope, optimism replenishing.

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One Response to “View from Mattie’s Pillow”

  1. William Lawson Says:

    “Still, in the light shining now across the corral…” For us it’s a few goats to tend (and milk), but otherwise the scene and feelings are much the same. In any case, your thoughts are wonderfully expressed…and a genuine pleasure to read.

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