Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Winter Lull

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We are enjoying a pause in the harsh, cold winter temperatures this week. It truly is a welcome relief for those of us who have to do things outdoors every day no matter what the weather is like. Hanging out with our horses, cleaning up around them, and feeding them, I get a very good sense of how much more at ease they are now that we’ve come out of the latest blast of extreme cold.

Those wicked cold mornings have the horses looking so stoic as they stiffly brace themselves against the stinging bite of the frigid air. They do very little moving to conserve what little warmth is lingering under their winter growth right up to the moment they prepare for the delivery of their feed pans by romping about, running, and kicking to jump-start their circulation.

In contrast, their lack of stiffness yesterday morning energized me. The horses radiated a feeling of ease and contentedness that stood out more than usual because of how different it was from just days before.

There has been a lull in snowfall for many more days than the cold temps, and the snow in the paddocks is getting thoroughly beaten down as a result. It remains deep enough in the fields that they have barely ventured beyond the fences but there are some tracks out there.

It’s unclear to me how many of those footprints are evidence of new activity or old tracks emerging as sunny afternoons have started to shrink back some of the coverage.

Yesterday afternoon, I lingered for a long time, leaning against a gate to watch their activity after they had all finished eating from the feed pans. They were just being horses with no urgent agenda.

It made me want to be a horse along with them —a horse during a warm spell on a February day.

When it’s cold again, I want to be a human living indoors.






Written by johnwhays

February 8, 2023 at 7:00 am

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