Settled back into my routine at last. Which is: work and horses and dog. I’m still in a slight professional limbo, waiting for verdicts on new projects, and can feel the stress of it tighten in my shoulders and press down over my head.
As always, the very small things give me pleasure, while I wait for green lights. Someone said a kind thing about the work I do for HorseBack UK; keenly sweet to me, as he is not a person given to rash compliments. I stored it up like a squirrel hoarding nuts for winter.
Someone I very much admire wanted to be a friend on Facebook. I’m not even quite sure how she knows I exist, but now she shall see pictures of Red the Mare looking happy and glamorous and the little Welsh pony being adorable and Stanley the Dog looking like Burt Lancaster. This gives me idiot amounts of joy.
It makes me think about the sharing of a life. I have a small life. I like that it is small. When I was young, I had grandiose ideas of doing mighty things. I would win prizes and people would know my name. Now, as regular readers know, all I care about is love and trees. I have nothing particularly fascinating to report, no meetings with famous men or encounters with storied women. I do not stalk the corridors of power; I cannot give you inside information on great events.
And yet, I find something touching about the quiet, unheralded lives which may be seen on the internet. I like to know that my blogging friend in California has taken her glorious Dalmatians through Laurel Canyon, or is cooking a delightful new recipe. I cherish charming Facebook pictures of people’s morning views, or chickens, or dogs, or equines. My other great blogging friend, met entirely through the internet with no connection at all in real life, is currently struggling with a mystery pain. I read of her battle and sympathise and feel a curious connection through the ether to an interesting, intelligent woman I may never set eyes on.
This feels like something real and oddly significant. It is a widening of community, not a shrinking of it, as the crosser commentators like to insist. There is an odd zero sum thinking, when it comes to the internet, as if any life online must nullify life in the actual world. It’s very curious, when you think about it. It’s like saying that reading a book means you are replacing real living with fiction. I say: there is room for both. There is room for everything.
Occasionally, one of the Dear Readers, who does not live surrounded by hills and sky, will leave a comment saying how livening it is to see those things. I put up pictures of the hill for those who have no hill. In my mind, the hill, symbolically, belongs to everyone. It is the Universal Hill. I am not trying to prove a point or convert anyone to my way of seeing the world or start hares running. It is the simple sharing of a life, in its plainest sense. If one shard of pleasure shoots into another life, then my work is done. It is: here is an amusing canine, here is a lovely horse, there is a charming tree. Rest your eyes for a moment, and be diverted.
One of my favourite of the HorseBack UK horses, a delightful South American veteran, who came out of polo to do this new, good work:
My own favourites, loafing in the sunshine, which has suddenly appeared after last night’s snow:
Stanley the Dog, doing slightly plaintive:
(Or: when are you going to stop faffing around with that camera and THROW MY STICK?)
First signs of spring: