Monday, June 20, 2011

The Sweetest Days

Thanks for your patience, everyone, while I’ve been giving this blog such short shrift. It’s the time of year. These drifty summer days are among the sweetest I have ever known. The garden is only just beginning to deliver her abundance onto my kitchen counter. Doug has all the tending and weeding under control, and so we are in a lull before the really big harvests enslave me (happily) with the canning. We are finding ourselves in our lawn chairs in the cool evenings for every sunset, and I am not writing much. Tacking words up from time to time with not much thought, and yet people just keep checking back. I will try to do a little better — or see you here again in the fall!

One major contributor in this summertime embarrassment of riches is my yearling filly, Salsa. I never dreamed she would turn out to be such a pet, or that a horse could be quite so lovey-dovey, frankly. So playful. I still maintain that my first horse and I had one of the great loves in the history of animal husbandry. I got him when I was 13, and am pretty sure we were together in a dream the night he died 20 years later, me all grown up with children to raise, living 1,500 miles away. He laid his head in my lap, and we sat together in silence, nothing more, for what seemed like the entirety of the night. I awoke and knew he was gone. But Salsa is an all-new dimension in my experience of horses  — she may well think I am her mother. She plays ball and hide-and-seek with me, curious and intent as a puppy. She nuzzles my hand if she's not getting enough attention, and then she swings around and leans in to change up the spot that is getting scratched. (Yeah, sometimes she's crabby as the hormonal “pre-teen” that she is, too. Having raised four daughters, I know that look.)

Oh it’s good to get a little older, I think, and know what you want. To have the wisdom finally to dial it all up in the right balance — to know “what to leave in, what to leave out,” as Bob Seger sang it. To have the space in your mind and heart for what you really want for yourself, after so many years of raising children, the career grind, and, for many of us, the upheaval of getting ourselves out of the wrong relationships and into the right ones.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately — the richness of maturity. It doesn’t really have anything to do with wealth, or the lack of it, within reason. Everyone has a budget, limitations, problems, and we always will. Hopefully we are wiser dealing with the negatives, too.

“Age has its rewards.” How often I have heard that in my lifetime. How often I have thought, unbeknownst to the speaker, You lie.

But I am beginning to believe it may be true.