Cold Morning in Carolina

I woke up and immediately thought, as I always do, ‘Oh boy! Stall cleaning again.’ Then I went to the bathroom and looked out the window. 3 of our ducks, the tall, chocolate Indian Runner male and two white, Pekin females were in my neighbor’s arena with her 4 year old Morab gelding. He was herding them, slowly, and I could hear the sounds in my mind, “pat pat pat pat,” because that’s what duck feet do in damp sand.
The light was gray and there was a light mist over everything. There almost always is in the mornings here, so close to the Great Dismal (technically IN the Great Dismal).
I looked toward the barn and could see Payday and Harley both in their stalls with their heads hanging over the doors. Payday’s smaller and leaner, Harley’s big and boxy. Then I remembered that I like cleaning stalls. I like picking through the shavings and leaving behind the equivalent of clean sheets for my horses. I like the feeling that they will be snuggled into their warm stalls on cold nights, munching hay, drinking from clean buckets of fresh water, snoring a little.
It’s very satisfying, living on this wee farm with such a heavy density of life: cats; dogs; horses and the pony; ducks; chickens; rabbits; chinchillas; children…the intense need of all of these creatures is so simple and the acts of doing for them may be the simple things that hold me here on this earth.


About Bettina Colonna Essert

Illuminated Magdalene High Priestess and facilitator of empowerment and healing circles for girls and women, including a monthly Red Tent Temple. BA in English, minor in anthropology. Waldorf homeschool mom. Reiki master, cranial sacral therapist, herbalist, menstruvist, feminist, epicurian.
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