Saturday, February 17, 2007

Silent Nights and Snow Sufis

A pleasant evening off the farm, but still I check my voicemail to make sure everything is going smoothly back at the ranch. Twilight falls, chore time comes and goes, and I breathe in relief--no news is good news.

I get to the car and suddenly there's a voice mail from Ginny--one of the new boarded horses keeps breaking the fence, a huge stretch is down, the horses are in a safe place but it's too much for her to deal with tonight.

Chuckle. Sigh.

If nothing else, farm life teaches you to seek silver linings, even in the form of an unexpected late-night, subzero fence repair.

Once home I light the candles and turn the heater on in the bathroom, figuring it'll be warm and welcoming and time for a tub when I get back in. With enough layers on, it's a beautiful night for a walk, and I have new batteries in my headlamp for the more intricate repairs. I crunch along the fenceline, buoyed by the top layer of ice. In one spot drifted snow gathers, inviting a snow angel. The snow under the wings is thin, and the angel looks more like a dervish in full whirl. I gaze back towards the barn, where the light shining through the slats of the roundpen casts a vast and shadowy spiderweb across the unmarked field.

An hour of pleasant work and peaceful stillness, the fence is back up, the horse is where he belongs, and the water is running in the tub. I'm off!

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