It was minus seven this morning and the world was white and still and petrified. The dogs leapt and flew and soared along the line of the burn, rejoicing in the vivid scents, barking hilariously at the flappy old heron, chasing imaginary creatures only they can see. Down in the field, the horses were as unmoving as the rock of ages, fluffing up their coats against the cold, peacefully gazing into the amber light.
I did HorseBack work. The light was so extraordinary that my pictures looked as if they had been taken by someone who knew what they were doing. I felt absurdly pleased.
Back to the field for the farrier. I love the farrier. The red mare loves the farrier. She rests her head on the farrier’s back and goes to sleep. We discuss horses and hooves and family and marriage and Christmas. The farrier smiles a blinding smile. ‘I love Christmas,’ she says.
Then: work, work, work, work. My heart lifts at a good paragraph and then sinks at some sloppy repetition. I get caught on favourite phrases, turning them over and over again until they mean nothing. Be strict, I tell myself, strictly.
Someone does something very kind for me. She does the favour without making it out to be a favour, which is an act of elegance. I express my gratitude and then we laugh a lot and I feel the twist of luck that there is generosity flying about. There is a practical generosity and a generosity of spirit, so that is two for the price of one.
I ring two old friends. We discuss this and that, and the other thing, and mostly exchange ineffable expressions of fondness. I notice that as we all get older we speak more of the love, instead of expecting the other person to know, to read between the lines. I think it is an effect of mortality. We have all been to funerals now; we all have friends who are sick; we all know about staring down the gun barrel of mortality. Life is crazy fast, and if you don’t say the love now it will be too late.
The gloaming falls, blue and serene, with a tiny delicate new moon suspended over the lime avenue. The dogs dance in the gloaming just as they danced in the dawn.
A little more work, I think, coming inside into the warm, and then I’m done.
A symphony of small things, I think, each smaller than the other, each vital to this human heart.