Wednesday, September 26, 2012

in the country

More than anything, it's pretty here. The leaves are all changing and when I walk up the winding road and crunch them under my feet, I feel a certain type of happiness that can't be replaced by the nearness of a shopping centre or the availability of a bus route.

On Sunday, the two of us rode horses together. Like every day this past week, it was a very sunny day. Our dog followed along behind us, diving into puddles in the low-lying areas of the neighbour's cow pasture and jumping high through the tall grasses down by the lake. As we crested the hill on the road out to the back pasture, we spotted a coyote standing in the middle of the meadow, staring at us, unmoving. If he were our dog, he would have looked at us for a moment and gotten distracted and continued on his way.

But we must never underestimate the patience of a wild animal. One who has learned to be careful, for his own survival. We turned around and went another way, leaving him to whatever he had planned to do in the middle of that sunny afternoon in the wild.

I am not doing much writing in my job, which disappoints me. I have not been working on communications materials or writing grants, because much of my time is eaten up tending to animals and taking groups out on trail rides (through coyote country). I find myself dealing with all manner of animal problems. A llama that doesn't eat enough, kittens who are inbred. A horse with a mysterious patch of hair missing.

Also: I have learned to drive the tractor. I feel too powerful behind that wheel. Like I could smash through anything, destroy everything. I don't, of course. I just use it to pick up bales of hay and drop them for horses to eat in their pens. They are grateful and constantly hungry, or else it seems they are.
Sometimes I wonder: is this my life?

The house is big. In our old house, we would have conversations between rooms, not raising our voices. Now I don't think he could hear me in the living room even if I yelled from the bedroom. And it takes a very long time to vacuum. And there are problems we've never had before. Things to do with well water and weird bugs and the ever-present possibility of mice.

I worried, before we moved, about whether we'd fill up all of the spaces. It seemed impossible, but we have. We've spread ourselves out into all of the corners of this place so easily. It feels cozy, now. Like home. I've agreed to host Thanksgiving dinner this year.

Winter will be something else.

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