Very tired and rather doleful, as you may imagine. But the great kindness of the Dear Readers is astonishingly generous and I am profoundly touched. Thank you.
There is a greater space than one might imagine in the paddock. I don’t think I’d realised how much of a presence the small Welsh person was. There is a huge lack.
The red mare, restless and distressed last night, came back to her main field this morning, called twice, very loudly, waited for a response, her neck stretched out and her ears pricked, scanning the horizon, and then dropped her head in acceptance.
She wandered back to the shed, where we were making breakfast, and stood in the doorway for a long time, occasionally offering her sweet white face in greeting. She and the paint filly were very, very still. They assumed a curious, deep calm, as if they had gone into a low, humming, Zen state. Despite the sadness, I found myself fascinated, watching them, trying to work out what was happening in their horsey heads.
As always, they hold a kind of noble mystery in them, that space between the equine and the human, the place that I cannot go. As always, the loveliness of that singing calm is actual, palpable; it streams out of their strong bodies like starlight. As always, Red gives me her gift, without let or restraint, straight from her fighting heart.
Here are some glorious hills for you, and other autumnal things:
Oh, and one more thing. I hesitate to write it, but my fingers are tapping across the keyboard, almost beyond my volition.
I almost never give unsolicited advice. I hate receiving it, so it would be nuts of me to dish it out. But what I did think last night is: never take time for granted. Tell the ones you love that you love them. Hold the animals close. I think that, like WH Auden, I tumbled into the trap of thinking that love would last forever; and like Auden, I was wrong.