Posted by Tania Kindersley.
So tired my eyes are crossing. All I have done is ride and work. But the new early rising is making me feel like old lady bed by eight. How glamorous I am now. I have permanent helmet hair from my riding hat, and horse and garden hands, from grooming the mare and pulling up the ground elder. I stump about all day long in my dusty Spanish riding boots. I am incapable of rational thought as soon as dusk falls, worn out from unaccustomed physical exercise. Quite often I get upstairs in the evening to find I have an earthy smudge all over my forehead.
The lovely thing is: I do not care.
I mention the tiredness so that you will understand why this is rather short, and probably not very coherent. My ability to process words is slowly leaking from my brain.
It was the finest ride yet, though, this morning. That seems important to relate. There was a profound and qualitative difference.
Yesterday, I wondered if Red was spooking at things not so much out of fear, but as a little test. She was a bit jumpy, and showed a marked inclination to attempt to bugger off in directions in which I had not asked her to walk. I was not having any of that. I wondered if she were pushing her world a bit, as a two-year-old child will, testing the limits of her new universe. I think she was checking me out, now her real fears were subsiding a bit.
Today, it was as if she had come to a decision. I'm all right, in her eyes. I may be trusted. We walked out in perfect harmony, past the scary cottage, beside the spooky pipes, into the dark wood. She was calm and responsive, relaxed and alert, not for mountain lions, but just to the day. The sun shone on us like a benediction. I felt something I can't quite express in words.
All the things in my life are still the same. I am wrangling with a very difficult second draft, up against a hard deadline. I still find it impossible to get my library books back on time. (Lucky the librarians here are the kindest and nicest in Britain.) My organisational skills show no sign of improvement. I miss my father. I miss my dog. I am still butting up against the whole mortality thing.
The horse does not wipe away anything, or transform anything, or solve anything. What she does give me, with utmost generosity, when I am with her, is a singing, unlimited sense of joy.
I love that I am remembering something I was once good at. I love that she consents to give me her trust. I love that I can wander through an ancient pine forest and across a glacial valley. In those moments, everything is quite right. There are not many things you can say that about.
Today, when I put her out in her paddock, for the first time she did not just wander away as soon as I took off her headcollar, as she usually does. She stood for a moment, and presented her head to me so I could scratch her in the special place below her ears where she likes to be scratched. She nuzzled at my hand with her wobbly lower lip. She gave me a look, and then she went over to the sunny corner which she favours, and put her head down to graze.
And that's where I run out of words.
Pictures of the day:
The first daisy:
Even though it is so warm, and many things have come early this year after the mild winter, the cherry blossom is still tightly in bud:
Beginnings of the honeysuckle:
The ornamental Japanese cherries are, unlike their British counterparts, flowering like mad. I never saw such profusions:
The old beech leaves:
This is what I see when I walk into the stable in the morning:
The glory that is the Pigeon: