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.

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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

I fell asleep with a splitting headache last night — slathered in lavender oil with an icepack on my neck.  I woke up free of pain this morning.  It was a transformation.  I was healed in the quiet of the night.  I hopped out of bed, threw on jeans and a sweatshirt, let the dogs outside, played with the kittens for a moment, stepped back in the house, fired up the studio, put the kettle on the stove and turned on Rose Cousins’s “Let the Light Come In” — a song I play when I want to be cracked open.

I stood in the kitchen, my bare feet pressed tight against cool hardwood, the grey light of morning streaming in the windows.  I reached my arms out, feeling the slow pull of my chest muscles reaching deep into my biceps, down to the bones of my wrists, into the buzzing tips of my fingers.  I raised my hands above my head, pushing at invisible things, sinews heaving and hauling.  I burst into tears right when Rose sang the word “forgiveness”.  I stayed there in the kitchen, swaying and moving to the music, folding and unfolding, paying attention while shifting and sifting through my body, from top to bottom, isolating and caring for specific muscles and joints, stretching them and rotating them until everything felt loosened and lubricated.

I thought a thousand different thoughts while I was moving to that song.

I heard the kettle heating up.

Penelope barked.

I saw water turn on in the side hayfield and I watched farm boy head down the driveway, his morning irrigation duties attended to.

I recalled my time with my grandmother in Saskatoon, how I took coffee over to her place and as I sat down in her living room I remember distinctly thinking, “I will sit on the loveseat because the sofa is Grandpa’s spot.”  Even though he is gone, I wanted to leave space for him in the room.  The whole time I talked with grandma, I was aware of his absence.  If he had been there with his twinkling blue eyes and his funny laugh I’d have asked for a couple of good stories about the olden days and draft horses and thunderstorms and heavy machinery accidents…like I always used to.

Where did he go, anyway?  Where does everything go?  What were these aching cells of mine before they became me?

The sun suddenly hit the canyon wall and the world turned gold and the palest blue, like faded robin eggshells.  Rose sang out, “Let the light come in…embrace it…” and I reached out wide once more, opening to the morning, to the new day, to a blank page, to possibility, to daydreams.

The kettle whistled.

I began again.

http://www.thenoisyplume.com/blog/2017/08/26/13179/

Meanwhile, at the farm…


…everything is growing beautifully, I am at war with a skunk, the kittens are hunting, I’ve started my 2017 canning/preserving as well as infused oil and tincture crafting (wildcrafted and homegrown), we took our second cut of hay, the orchard is about to be ready for the first harvest of plums.