Rob and I took a morning walk along the river trail, down near the lake. The trees have turned wintry looking; the fallen leaves were all blown off the path and turning to mulchy meal. The water birds were all fluffed out; we came upon some ducks taking a break from the chilly water and warming their feet on the sunny pavement. We stopped and threw rocks to break up the thin layer of ice already formed at a little bend in the river. Ice already? Really? We climbed down the bank and walked out onto a mini-peninsula, because we could. Rob found me a new pair of sunglasses, which he said make me look hip. That's me, hip. We heard a strangely familiar sound—the one you always hear in old westerns when there's a shot of an Indian in the wilderness: an eagle's screech—only this cry came from a starling, the poseur. Funny to think of the grandiose thoughts that might have been going through that bird's head; maybe he wants to make movies, is hoping to be discovered. We all have our dreams.
We also had some nice encounters with other creatures walking the path. We met an old man and his two happy, companionable border collies. I adore that breed—so intelligent and sensitive. Really beautiful. I sometimes joke with Rob that he is a sheepdog—that's very much his nature in certain respects—so I'm already accustomed to the interpersonal dynamic; maybe we should get one after Izzy dies. The smaller of the man's two dogs attached herself to me and wanted petting and eye contact—oh, those copper eyes! I wanted to take her home. The man said the dogs had been a pair for more than nine years and he figured they'd had only one or two disagreements in all that time. For some reason, maybe just to have something to say, the man asked if we were going to church today. After a funny little discussion on that subject, he told us: "I'd rather be out on my horse wishin' I was at church than in church wishin' I was out on my horse." I hear that.
Near the end of our walk we met up with one of the horses whose pasture is adjacent to the river trail. We stopped and pulled up tempting grasses that were out of reach, and the horse gladly accepted our gifts. Munch, munch, munch—I hate the word munch normally, but it's exactly what a horse's grinding teeth sound like, and I don't mind it when I'm there in person. Such powerful jaws. This was a young horse. Once in a while the horse would turn its hay breath and rubber lips on me and sort of breathe with me and kiss on my nose, or take friendly nibbles at my shoulder. That was all sweet and delightful until while nuzzling my forehead the horse found a hunk of my hair to yank and chomp, like a clump of weeds, and I very nearly got scalp bangs. I managed to pry my hair out of his jaws and come away with most of the hunk roughly intact, but had to wear a slick of slobber till I could get home and wash my hair out. Ew.
Three more beautiful things about this day:
1. Rob's love and care.
2. Chris & Amy's first anniversary. I'm so happy you two found each other. You're a beautiful pair, and I love you so much. Congratulations on reaching this incredible milestone.
3. An early Thanksgiving pot luck with my terrific Bowen cousins. Nobody plays Apples to Apples like you guys. And having Marsha sing me her "Glitter Power" song was almost too much joy to experience and still survive.
Here's a sweet read: a nice short essay about horse love.