Tuesday, June 08, 2010

zen harrowing and some other things

Last night after dinner I went out to harrow the arena. Sunset, orange and lavender, coincided with my methodical circling, and husband was there to move jumps, standards, dressage markers, and ground poles so that my circuits were uninterrupted. I hadn't realized just how calming it is to go around and around, making harrow lines in the near darkness.

Just before I drove through the gate to the barnyard to begin the harrowing, Dickens E. Wickens, cowboy and hunter, came from the forest with a young bunny in his mouth. Since the bunny was already dead, we gave it back to him, but when I first spotted those dangling ears, I called out to husband and was making upset noises. Rafer Johnson and Redford came running when they heard my cries - with looks of concern on their donkey faces. It was about the sweetest thing in the world to see them look at my face, searching to see what was wrong, donkey ears held high. They are true friends and guardians.

Today I spent some time checking my compost piles after getting the barn set up for the day. There is so much color this time of year - green grass, green leaves, yellow goldfinches, blue birds, red cardinals, brown tree trunks. Walking through the field is like opening a new box of Crayola crayons, the big box, and trying to choose which one you'll use first.

This afternoon I went into town to run errands and ended up running into my dentist at the gas station. He came over to say hello and reassure me about an upcoming dental appointment. Have I mentioned lately that I love our little town? I grew up in a different small town and couldn't wait to leave when I graduated from high school. I'm beginning to see the benefits, in middle life.

Another thing I did today was set up the second pondering bench. I have one looking into the back field, and today's looks over the barnyard. These are simple benches, utilizing leftover cinder blocks and pieces of wood, but they sit nicely and provide two shady spots to sit and watch and think. Redford walked with me to the back field bench, and knocked the bench off with his nose, but when I put it back, he allowed it to stay.

10 comments:

Grey Horse Matters said...

I sort of felt the same way the other night as I was harrowing the arena. I'm very happy to report I didn't see any pussycats with bunnies hanging out of their mouths though. It's natural for them but it would have upset me too. The donkey boys are so sweet.

Love the idea of the benches, I'd like to have them all over the farm, nothing elaborate just somewhere to stop and think or simply be able to admire nature and the horses.

Kate said...

Pondering benches . . . what a fine idea!

Valentino said...

You two make me feel better about my (possibly obsessive) love of harrowing. I am a landscaper so I spend a good deal of time riding around on a tractor. Let's just say the thrill is gone lol...

I have come to appreciate the meditative qualities of mowing because frankly - after you've done it a few times there is little if any need for further thinking.

While a precisely mowed lawn is indeed satisfying, nothing beats the smooth even concentric ovals of a fresh harrowing.

Glad I'm not the only one :)

Deborah Pipes said...

Dearest Billie -

Have you ever thought about a Donkey book oriented to the younger folk?

Your "Boyz" are so sweet and so able to transmit their own feelings and concerns across the DNA barrier and being at times, Bad Boyz, would be great reading for young and old.

Oh, and anytime you want to spend hours going 'round and 'round in a large piece of harvesting equipment, I will sign you up for the harvest crews running combines for the next 3 months - depending on the crop.

billie said...

Arlene, I was shocked at Dickens, who generally sticks to mice. Sometimes birds. Sometimes snakes. Sometimes squirrels. He is a barn/farm cat supreme, but it did make me sad when I saw the bunny ears flopping. :/

billie said...

Kate, as if I need a bench to ponder! But otoh, I realized that there are times every day when I would take a moment to sit and just think, if only I had a place to sit. Now I want them everywhere!

billie said...

Valentino, I finished up with a figure 8 in the very center, and then tried to do a Celtic knot kind of thing. I can't remember if it was here or on Facebook that I wrote about my crop circles I made in the barnyard mulching the remains of the round bale.

billie said...

Deborah, there is actually a donkey book for younger readers in the works right now. Tonight after dinner tubs, Rafer Johnson came out to the picnic table and snuggled husband and me. Husband remarked how odd it is that donkeys have (among some folks, anyway) such a misinformed reputation. He is truly a love bug.

I would love to drive a big harvester round and round! I don't know if you ever read Busy Town, but when my son was very young we had a computer game that put some of the book into action. One part of the game was planting and harvesting wheat, and when I mulch the barnyard between round bales, the hay reminds me of wheat and I find myself singing the Busy Town song as I go. I guess if you don't grow up on a farm, some of these chores have a charm that is probably lost if you do them for years on end!

Máire said...

I love the idea of the pondering bench. And you are causing me to revise my very unfavourable estimation of donkeys.

billie said...

Maire, you would adore Rafer and Redford. They have very different personalities but they are truly loving and kind. One donkey hug and you'd be won over for life!