Barn chores have been hard this week, but they have also saved me. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, outrageous heat and humidity, storms rolling in, the ripeness of the barn, all of it. That moment when you realize you just have to yield to the sweat and let it flow through your eyes and into every part of your body. Then you keep working while the crazy, happy barn swallows swoop, duck and chatter.
I was more than grateful for it. Unbelievable crap has been happening where I work, some of which has a direct impact on my life. So the motion of our small existence -- me, H.G., the cats and horses -- all seemed to stop, to just pend. Even as you sleep, wake, step out the door, move through the day, then return to sleep. The stress of waiting chews at and exhausts the mind.
I arrived at the barn each evening mentally done. Being mentally exhausted has a way of stripping me back to my foundation, and that's a good place for me to be. I can't really lie to myself when I'm there; I don't have the energy. Raw and tired, what's left? Just me, in my body. And that's all that's required for barn chores. I did them, and they were simple and corrective for me.
Two of the rails came down in the fence around the grass arena, finally separating from a rotten post, so Dar's been in a dry lot 1 all week, next to the barn. It's been hard for him. He's aware of the herd way out in the pasture, but can't get near them. He's bored and unhappy.
I went into the dry lot to spend time with him all three evenings. He nickered as soon as he saw me drive in, then watched, his head held high over the fence, until I vanished around the corner to walk into the barn. Then he pressed himself against the sliding door, waiting, listening for me. I slid back the door and asked him to back up, which he did easily, despite his excitement and relief to have a diversion from his boredom. These encounters were each interesting and moving to me. We're both unhappy right now, Dar and I, and neither of us have the energy to hide it. Me being set back and reduced to just me includes only being to interact with Dar at a basic, creature-to-creature level. And while I happen to be reduced, I feel that Dar has finally fully revealed himself. And I see it. I saw it most clearly, and cleanly, I think, on Tuesday night.
I have to write about it when the time is right.
Last night, Dar and I shared a bottle of SoBe Lifewater, Agave Lemonade. "Grey water," I call it. He drank most of it, having, proportionately, a much larger mouth. I let him carry the drained plastic bottle around for a while and took a picture with only the camera of my memory.