Tuesday, November 20, 2007

two little bits of magic

Over the weekend I was out at the barn and found this tiny nest. The winds from the day before must have blown it down. I was immediately charmed by its size, but when I looked more closely I realized it has tail hairs from each of our horses woven into it.

Keil Bay's black with burnished brown, Salina's true black, Cody's chestnut, and Apache Moon's white. What treasure for our nature shelf.

Today I was raking leaves in the fog while the horses ate hay nearby. Our fields have trees and this time of year I try to keep up with the falling leaves as best I can so the winter grass will grow in.

Raking leaves is tiring work. It seems to particularly stress my right shoulder, so I alternate. I still manage to end up with a blister and an ache.

Even so, something about raking leaves has always appealed, and I figured out why today.

It's like when you clean up after a wonderful party. The left-behind glasses and plates remind you of who ate what and which conversation from the night before took place around that end of the table.

Raking leaves is like cleaning up after the the trees' fall fling. If you do it early, as the leaves fall, it's like raking color into piles. Painting with leaves.

And one's progress is so easily seen, the earth seems bare without its leaves, but today the bits of green meant forage for horses and also that it's rained.


Joseph Gallo said...

Thus, horse helps hawk to fly, twitter take wind, the wren her place in the sky. ~Aucassin Verdè

I love the photo of that nest! Yet another intricate weaving as spoken so sagely by Chief Seattle when he said that all things were interwoven in the web of life.

We have a place there and, therefore, because we seem to know it, are conferred a custodial responsibility to oversee and ensure that we help and not hinder for as long as we coexist.

For the 15-months I lived in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon, I relearned the joy of leaf-raking. It is hard work, but in doing so I found it to be a mantran passage of time, slow, deliberate, a melody without structure yet haunting like Erik Satie's Gymnopédie.

After a few weekends, I began to hate it. Box elders have entirely far too many friggin' leaves. Sweating and hand-numb (I wore and recommend gloves), I would feel it 'til Tuesday, mostly in my sides and I'm an avid tennis player.

So your observations have me thinking poeterly thoughts about the connections between horses and sky, those apparent and those not. (As a matter of fact, I just paused to write it).

So thank you, Billie. For stopping the torrent of terrible time. And watch that shoulder.

billie said...

Love the Verde quote - horses and sky - totally connected, imo.

No worries about the raking. I do one tree at a time. :)

fabienne said...

I am checking on your other blog Billie, woah! I too am faced with raking leaves and having physical problems (mine is a tennis elbow that cost me a year of writing). For my little lawn I use the electric mower to shred the leaves. For the driveway I use the electrical blower.
I love Joseph's comparison of raking with Satie's Gymnopédie. I lose that lovely, haunting connection with my electrical machines. But I can still have it as long as I can weed...

billie said...

I wish sometimes we had one of those leaf vacuum things that sucked them up, shredded them, and spread them back out. In the pasture, we rarely need to mow anything, and this time of year don't want to, so it's challenging to get the leaves off the grass w/o damaging the grass.

I've had a cold the past few days and since the wind was gusting as well, I have left them alone!

Tomorrow I will get back to my one section at a time routine.

Thanks, Fabienne - I hope the machines work well for you this year!