A great fog settled over the farm this morning and as I walked around in it and tended our critters I was reminded of this poem:

“I am too alone in the world, and yet not alone enough
to make every moment holy.
I am too tiny in this world, and not tiny enough
just to lie before you like a thing,
shrewd and secretive.
I want my own will, and I want simply to be with my will,
as it goes toward action;
and in those quiet, sometimes hardly moving times,
when something is coming near,
I want to be with those who know secret things
or else alone.
I want to be a mirror for your whole body,
and I never want to be blind, or to be too old
to hold up your heavy and swaying picture.
I want to unfold.
I don’t want to stay folded anywhere,
because where I am folded, there I am a lie.
and I want my grasp of things to be
true before you. I want to describe myself
like a painting that I looked at
closely for a long time,
like a saying that I finally understood,
like the pitcher I use every day,
like the face of my mother,
like a ship
that carried me
through the wildest storm of all.”
[Rilke]

http://www.thenoisyplume.com/blog/2017/11/11/13373/

Sunday Morning




A glimpse of a few quiet moments on the farm this morning.  We had a great day here.  Robert has been away on a mission the past few days, fetching our ’71 Ford pick-up from the Methow Valley (finally) — our final tie to that place has been severed and we are free!  Our rig looks terrible, sadly.  The pal we left it with did his very best to turn it into a heap of rust (not on purpose, just due to thoughtlessness).  That said, the V8 still has that lovely growl I fell in love with (anyone who knows trucks is saying, “But the ’71 came with a V6…” — this one did too, but it was pulled out and replaced with a V8.).  We took it for a quick joyride along the river tonight and boy howdy, the engine still purrs like a kitten.  We have some work to put into this truck and that’s ok.  I don’t think I want to let it go.  Robert gave it to me as a gift, one fire season, when he was still based out of the Methow Valley and we were living at the little cabin in the woods and I view it as a relic of that former life of ours.  We’ve grown so much since then, as individuals and as a committed couple.  This truck is a sort of vestige of our former selves and reflection of the beauty of our life transitions.  How could I sell it!??  That would be like severing an appendage!  This truck is such a piece of us and our story.  We must keep it!  So we will.

We spent most of the day working with Resero doing some important groundwork and desensitizing.  He’s never had a human like he has me now and I’m in the business of making him the very best horse he can be.  He’s a very sensitive boy so we’re starting out slow with a flagged-carrotstick, tarps and basic bending work.  After an hour of groundwork I took him on a long stamina ride to the top of the mesa while Robert and Tater ran alongside.  Once home again, I lengthened the stirrups on my saddle and had Robert ride Resero around our in-yard, coaching him on his posture and generally chaperoning the two (Robert is a less confident rider than I though he is making great progress).

Now we’ve got a fire brewing in the fireplace and pizza cooking in the oven.

I guess I just wanted to say, “Hey!”

I hope your weekend was lovely.

XX

Resero

I bought a horse in July.  It is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.  I grew up riding horses and ride every chance I get but I have never truly had a horse of my very own.  Resero will arrive at the farm with much pomp and circumstance in the first week of October — which is to say, my sister and her boyfriend are hauling him to Idaho for me and I am going to do a little dance when they pull through the gate, around the corner where the old apple trees stand and come down the final stretch of the driveway to our house.

Let me tell you a few things about Resero.  His name means cowboy.  He is sorrel with a tiny star on his forehead between his eyes and a huge white splash on his rump (it’s getting bigger as he grows up).  He is seven years old.  He is sturdy yet elegant, built somewhat like a mustang but with a refinement to him that makes him seem like a gentleman.  He likes corn on the cob, unhusked.  He is a Peruvian Paso.  My sister’s boyfriend bred, raised, trained and competed on this horse in a professional capacity — to Tanner’s credit, Resero is a great horse because Tanner is a great horseman.  When I sit on his back I feel like I might be siting on a lightning bolt.  He has fire and charisma but also a very fine quality to him that I can sense when I look into his eyes and feel when I urge him into his gait and collect him up tight so that all his fire and power seems to reside in the thickness of his arched neck where it curves up and away from my quiet hands.  He’s majestic and utterly masculine.  In short, he’s superb.

I never thought I would wind up with a Peruvian; gaited horses were generally off my radar until we bought the farm here on the Snake River of Idaho.  My neighbors have Peruvians and I’ve been able to ride those horses over the past year and I really fell in love with the breed.

I randomly texted my sister about Peruvians about six months ago and she almost immediately told me that she and Tanner had a horse she thought would be perfect for me.

I rode him while in Alberta — in the arena and on the trail (and in a river, as you can see here) and I knew he was mine.  Something I love about this horse is that he challenges my skill set.  I am a good rider.  Resero asks me to be excellent, because he, himself, is excellent.  I must rise to meet his high standards.  He’s going to make me a great horsewoman.  For that, I am already grateful.

My gardens have such a strange way of lending me peaceful energy.  I like to pick in the cool of the morning and tend in the waning heat of the evening.  Today was such a long, hot day, nearly 100F and full of soft struggles that nipped at my patience and felt pathetic and like suffering.  This evening, I mustered the last of my strength and set out with a desperate heart to catch up on my tangled cucumbers and eggplants divine.  My garden sits in a hollow beneath a rise of stoic sage, pine and poplar.  As the sun sets, the light dims and fades until my plants are in delicious shadow and the mysteriously dank scent of tomato leaves begins to spiral upward.  The cool of wet earth spools around me and I find myself refreshed and invigorated in a quiet, sensory way.

I think this is how flowers feel

when the day finally breaks back upon itself and a riptide of night moves fast to the West

and the bugs spread their wings and fly towards the last of the sun.

http://www.thenoisyplume.com/blog/2017/08/29/13208/

Eden

Every day is Eden.  We make our choices.

+++

I picked the garden early this morning.  I marveled at my patch of cosmos and sunflowers.  I remember sowing the seeds for those flowers and wondering if everything would blow over in the vigorous gale that often sweeps upriver in this high desert country.  To my amazement, I haven’t had a single flower knocked down in the wind and some of my sunflowers are ten feet tall!  I have a theory that the more a tree or plant is battered by the elements, the stronger it tends to grow.  There’s a reaction to wind, specifically; roots spread wider and shoot deeper so that a plant is tethered to a greater anchor.  My garden has been wind-abused but not broken and so it has grown all the more beautiful and splendid.

I walked my excess cucumbers over to my neighbor’s place, chatted for a while and then made my way home to my kitchen where I am batching spicy cucumber pickles and cardamom plum jam.

I have a simple Sunday ahead of me.  I wish you could come work with me, side by side, rejoice in the bounty, play with the kittens and laugh with me like sisters and brothers do.

X