The wind is howling right now. Yesterday began our transition into the swirling storms of fall, as leaves spun around us in vibrant hues of red, gold, orange. Persephone weaves her cloak and begins her descent…
The earth begins its vigil. The trees, dark and becoming barren, their lovely, soft summer greens turning brittle and unable to hold on, are stark and naked now. Only a few have been able to retain their leaves during this onslaught of wind and rain.
The horses are nervous. It’s the wind. It blows in odd smells I think and whips up noises that are unsettling to them. Wind has always represented chaos to me. I feel like it’s the same with them. We are prey to the earth and the things it conjures. We are on high alert for the battle to come.
I feel woefully behind in planning. I have done my best but there are things that I just have not had time to get to. The roof on the barn, which I thought would last for one more winter, is showing signs of giving up. I lost a bale and a half of hay last week from a new leak I discovered while organizing and counting bales. Roofers don’t like to look at things so close to winter. Nobody wants to work in what is to come. The cost will be an issue if it needs done earlier than I had planned. Life builds and unravels. It is the same for all of us I think.
What is it that implores us to fight on? I don’t know. I know that I have it, deep within me. It is difficult to muster at times but I do it. I’m just a belligerent sort of creature I suppose. Like my cat, Obi, I tend not to realize the size of my opponent. I don’t know when to stay down. I’m hoping it brings me through the other side of every major challenge.
Darkness is always with us now. Looming in the background. The days grow shorter and the mornings seem to have the hardest time pushing it back. Horses are so internally ruled by their surroundings so they move closer to the barn as it approaches, they linger in the far field for as long as they can on nice days, refusing the dinner bell like kids that want to stay out and play just a little longer. It is as if they too know that they must suck this all in while they can. The season of frozen water buckets, blankets and thigh high snow is racing toward us now. Like a train…and we are stuck on the tracks with it pressing down upon us. We have given up trying to free ourselves. The collision is inevitable.
When the things you do require travel and being outdoors during the season to come, you either look forward to it, you deal with it, or figure out ways to cope. I’m in the second and third categories of approach and I’m not always successful at either. Winter has forever been my enemy. Even as a child I hated it. Snow days were the only thing that made it marginally acceptable but again, at a very young age I realized that we would eventually pay for those by having to remain in school during the best season of the year! Why would you want to give up the warm days of early summer to be stranded with the beast of winter? I didn’t take to skiing, snowboarding and although I do know how to ice skate it too seemed really tedious to me in terms of the layers and the shivering (we had an outdoor rink in my hometown). I did my fair share of sledding and building igloos as a kid but even that was more to stave off cabin fever than actual fun.
I’m most definitely Spring’s child and Summer’s maiden. I have a list of indoor activities and projects for winter. Mostly painting, some minor repairs but a good part of it will be spent dealing with the ramifications of water freezing in buckets (because our new frost and freeze proof automatic waterer got installed too high off the ground and we have not been able to arrange for anyone to fix that so I will be bucketing and thawing the old fashioned way all season – something that I was hoping to not have to do), monitoring the weight of the horses, adjusting feed according to the same, shoveling, chopping wood, trying to stay warm myself…
Winter is Goliath to me. Only I am no David. I have many times conceded to its power. We must realize that there are enemies we cannot defeat. I simply try to cope. I surround myself with the music of the Dark Season, I write, I think, I try to hibernate as best I can and heal. I bide my time and know that in 16 weeks I will see a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Spring will crawl from the frozen earth and muster her strength from the approaching sun. And when all seems lost she will burst forth and warm me, once again, the world will be reborn.