Monday, December 11, 2023

November Hill farm journal, 199

 I reached out two weeks ago to Keil Bay’s previous woman and the younger woman who rode him and introduced me to him, and got back very sweet notes from both of them expressing their gratitude that his passing was peaceful and their condolences. Last weekend K, the young woman, sent me this photo that is Keil Bay a few months before I met him and he joined our family. It was a gift to her from Keil’s previous woman the Christmas I found him, and she and her family were putting up their Christmas tree and hung it. 

This says so much about Keil Bay and how special he was not just to me but to those who knew him before I did, and it makes me so happy to know he is hanging on K’s tree all these years later. 

I have begun the planting of his and Salina’s grave sites. It’s not a sad activity but a hopeful one, and a healing one. More plants are coming this week from the nursery owner who reached out to me with several of the rare and hard to find plants I’ll be putting in. 

This week Cody did a big and beautiful gallop up the entire front pasture hill, one of of those “spook just to have an excuse to run fast” moments horses sometimes do, and the first I’ve seen him in this mode since Keil passed away. He and Little Man are regularly playing their gave of over the fence tag in the mornings, and both Rafer and Redford are seeming a little happier lately. I think the herd is regrouping and moving on. 

We have had some cold weather and then some warmer weather and now today colder again, the typical roller coaster of temperatures that make it hard to have any sort of routine. Cody is now wearing Keil’s single weight blanket and it seems fitting that he has taken over that big and regal purple robe. 

On Saturday we went with our son, daughter-in-law, and grandkids to have brunch and then to the Christmas tree farm that is very near our farm. The tree I picked for our house ended up being too tall and after we cut the top off my husband put the star on. It looks to me like the star fell right out of the sky and into this tree, which in a sort of perfect way is fitting for this year. 

It’s maybe no coincidence that this notion fits with a “poem” I wrote in a writing group a number of months ago. We were playing with words and internal rhyme and also where to end lines, and this now seems like some kind of foreshadowing to this first Christmas after Keil Bay’s passing:

The Night The Star Falls From The Sky

I stand back and watch it shine, 

no longer a girl wishing on star’s light.

It’s as big as our house and bright,

but not blinding.

The horses are not frightened

but chew hay beneath the barn shelter,

blinking slowly as the star’s

twinkling spotlights the bent pine

who lies flat but not broken.

Perhaps she too dreams of touching skies.

I have hurried a life’s time wishing on stars;

never has one replied.

Take note, it pulses now,

we listened. 

Keil Bay and Cody on either side,

their warm breath matching mine. 

This isn’t really a fully finished piece, but take note that the star’s pulsing “we listened” refers to me standing between Keil Bay and Cody, two souls I absolutely wished for as a young girl. It feels like right now that Keil Bay himself was that big star that landed in my life. 

Right now I’m very much focused on living in the days as they come, following my impulses to write, putter, plant, and just be. It’s a good way to mark this passage of time, the things that have come this fall, and make my way forward. 


Kathleen said...

I'm so happy that you're finding peace in planning and planting the grave sites and Keil Bay is sending healing energy from so many places for you. I hope you enjoy a peaceful, star-filled holiday!

billie said...

Thank you, and I hope the same for you! I am so looking forward to our plant expedition to kick off the new year. :)))

Kathleen said...

Me too!! And I think I'm going to start (a little late) a nature advent calendar along the lines of the one you showed me. AND looking forward to the 12 days of Christmas again this year. Cheers!

Grey Horse Matters said...

The ornament is beautiful. I think you’re doing the best possible things right now for yourself and your peace of mind. Just do what you feel like and go with the flow as life goes on. Love your tree and your poem. Have a lovely peaceful Christmas.

billie said...

Thank you, A. I hope you and your family have much love and peach this Christmas too. Sending big hugs to all of you.

billie said...

Kathleen, that’s so cool - do take photos of your advent calendar!!