Tuesday, October 19, 2010
The event I work for is readying itself for winter's sleep. Autumn overtakes the park. Amid the shortening days, our tall trees shed their leaves in drifts across the grounds. This is a moment I come to every October as one of the last people still living here. For me, it always feels like the end of the year, and that's how it's been since I began working for the company. My sense of time has been trained season to season, not those of nature, but of the show. So I walked the park tonight to see this past one go.
Across the glass-like south pond, the ship already wears its winter lashing, held fast and anchored to survive the storms of another blizzard season. The light falls quicker than I can walk. Every trace of the 175,000 people who came to visit has been erased; it's as if they never were.
Except for the impossible golden light glowing through my apartment windows. Up there, all 11 cats are snoozing in the space-heater warmth, some curled inside-out, others fat in piles on the bed.
Over it all hangs the harvest moon. This is how each year ends for me. This, and with horses. The horses I've had in the past six years have come to me at the end of a season. I bought Scout from the jousters at the end of the 2004 season. Dar, another reject jouster, came home with me at the end of the 2009 season. I bought Saxony in September. She had nothing to do with the festival, but that doesn't matter. It's something about coming to the end of the season, the year as I know it, that finds me reaching for horses. I took Scout and Dar, both project horses, through fleeting autumns and straight into winter. Winter is the time I find most natural for bonding with horses, and it seems I set it up that way.
It will be no different with Saxony. I haven't said much about her, and that's because being sick has kept me holding back, trying to rest, even as I champ at the bit. She is a whole new story, one to begin at the beginning, and though she's mine, I don't feel I've begun with her yet, not at all. My tack is there, it fits, and I've been on her a couple of times, but it's not quite real. She waits.