"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Reflecting Life With Lady

Tonight, I sit here alone. That is happening a little more often these days, as my son grows up. It’s quite a strange feeling; sometimes a lonely feeling, only rarely a feeling of relief. Tonight, to the east of me I see through my living room window, a big, bright, beautiful full moon, shining through a few remaining puffy, cumulus clouds. Through my dining room window, I can see the lights of Mount Spokane Ski Resort decorate the rim of the mountain as it is silhouetted against the western sky. Just before Matt left tonight to go meet friends for ice cream down town, he asked me to make peanut butter cookies for him; so the smell of burnt cookies lingers through the house (I burned the first batch, as is normal with me). Geraldo drones in the background. I don’t know why I have the TV on; I guess it’s because he is talking about the recent earth quake in Chile and I half-heartedly wanted to hear what was taking place. The other half of me just wants to sit in the dark, so I can best enjoy the awesome views that surround me, and type out my thoughts in silence. This night I’m feeling pretty lonely, accompanied only by that dull ache in ones heart which presents itself when one is missing something or someone they love.

All of this to say, I am really missing that little Arabian mare, that became such a big part of our lives the last 4 years. It would have been my turn to feed her tonight, as Matt left before her feeding time. I can’t think how many times I thought: I’m so glad we have you, Lady. Even feeding you is a joy. It gets me outside (in the cold) which I would not normally do and it gives me a chance to enjoy the spectacular area in which we live. It brings opportunity to enjoy the smell of the hay, and that inimitable horsey smell that I guess one doesn’t know about unless one has had a horse of their own.

I miss her soft contented munching of the grain which I always stopped to listen to as I petted her a bit before leaving her alone to enjoy her meal. I always listened because it brings such comfort to me. It’s the same thing I feel when I hear (or see for that matter) her take a long drink of water. What is that contentment that it brings? Why is it? I think it’s because one grows to love these animals so strongly through the care that they require. The sounds one hears from them, are the sounds that let one know that everything is ok. It is such a wonderful feeling to know the animal that you have been blessed with, is getting the care that they should have and that which they deserve.

There are so many reasons I miss her though. I still want to look for her in the pasture when I get up in the morning. When I come home from being away during the day, it hits me once again, that no - doggone it - she is not there. I miss her standing at the fence looking toward the house when we were a little late with her feeding. I will always remember how she would shake her head and snort just a bit to demonstrate for us that we have angered her with our tardiness. I didn’t ride her much; she was Matt’s horse and I know I can’t possibly have the bond with her that he had, but that is just another reason that I miss her so terribly. I know the ache that is in his heart from loosing her. There isn’t a mama alive that wants to see her child hurting….even if he is almost a man.

She had become such a part of our family, but more than that, she was a part of defining who we are. That sounds so dramatic, I know, but it is really so true. All Matt’s childhood, our goal had been to get acreage in the country so we could have a horse and be a part of that life that is just a little slower and laid back than city life might be. I will never forget the day we got her. How I watched her run that fence line, trying to adjust to her new surroundings away from the other horses and family she was used to. But as time went on, I watched her adjust and grow and learn. And I saw an amazing love and trust that developed between my boy and his horse. She would eventually do anything for him; and he for her. There is such an enormous presence missing in our everyday life. I know it doesn't change who we are, but right now, it feels like it does. She’s not going to be there, this summer when it’s time for Matt to begin one of the favorite activities our family enjoyed together. She’s not going to be there for the neighborhood trail drive, and she isn’t going to be there for the annual trail ride in the state park. We won't feel her nuzzles and Jake won't come and brag about how she is one of the best horses he shoes.

I know the pain is only for a little while. It isn’t like loosing a child. And it isn’t like the families that are hurting now in Chile and Haiti because of the great losses of life that occurred so drastically in those countries. It’s just our own little sorrow, that a friend reminded me is valid and important because it causes us to pause and think of the preciousness of life - all life - regardless of how small.

Ya just wanna know that you did things right…that you didn’t mess up, that you weren’t careless; that you really did respect every part of life that is such a wonderful gift from God - not to be taken for granted. That’s why soft munching, smooth slurping and peanut butter cookies (that don’t burn) are so very important.

1 comment:

  1. I am so sorry to hear about your horse Jan. ((hugs)) to you. Anna