In the Night Farm…Your Ride is Here.


Tomorrow’s forecast reads, “High of 56, and rain.”  Severe weather outlooks have been posted.

Beware:  Winter ahead.

But tonight, I can see the moon.  She pours silver over the horses’ backs, and I can just make out the stamp of my saddle, still etched on Consolation’s coat. 

I’ve ridden nearly every evening these past weeks, changing straight from skirts to breeches the moment I get home.  It is not Indian summer, for our nights fall just shy of frost, but each day passes in a certain shade of bright.  Like diamonds they glisten all around, deceptive, visibly warm yet sharp to touch.

Tonight, the air is crisper still, keen as a knife blade sheathed in the horizon ringed with clouds.  Breeze clatters the aspen, shocking against ice-blue sky.  Along the roadside, tawny stalks of corn beseech the rain that will come tomorrow and stain their leaves with gray.

Our rides have been slow, of late.  We’ve been soaking autumn deep beneath our skins.  But today, we fly.  There isn’t speed like this, nor grace, in a thousand fish or swooping birds!

This ride, of course, is bittersweet.  It feels like pulling tomato vines and basil in October, a heartbeat before they wither black with cold.  Their scent is redolent of summer.  It lingers on my hands, and I am loath to rinse it off come dark.

In just that way, I sense the final moments of sunlight on bare arms, of Consolation’s sweat on ungloved palms.  Perhaps she feels it, too.  She is so powerful, so eager, I cannot not bear to capture her by heel or rein.  She flows smooth as water over stones; I am nothing to her glory. 

We canter miles until, at last, the sun catches up her train of heat and plunges to earth.  Consolation asks for her head.  I give it gladly, and together we chase the final, golden drop of summer, borne on a gallop to the very edge of day.


15 responses

  1. Ahhhh. Beautifully said. Every day we have like this is a gift. I’m dreading what’s ahead….

    October 22, 2010 at 7:26 pm

  2. I’m so glad I had my glass of wine in hand when I read this. It deserved it.

    October 22, 2010 at 7:48 pm

  3. Tom

    Simply incredible writing. Where does a gift like this come from? Like George Harrison to the guitar, you were born to write.

    October 22, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    • Thanks, Tom. How does one reply to that? 🙂

      October 23, 2010 at 6:07 am

  4. sj

    Elegantly written.

    The unique beauty of the season passes.
    The unique beauty of the next begins.


    October 23, 2010 at 4:51 am

    • 🙂 Consolation is at the peak of her fitness, and I in the valley of mine. Now, the time has come for an exchange. So I suppose winter isn’t all bad.

      October 23, 2010 at 6:08 am

  5. You never cease to amaze me with your writing! So beautiful.

    October 24, 2010 at 9:05 pm

  6. beautiful! i think i’m going to go saddle up right now.

    October 28, 2010 at 9:05 am

  7. Bailey

    Stunningly beautiful writing. Thank you for sharing this lovely memory – I feel as if I were there.

    October 30, 2010 at 11:45 am

    • Thanks, Bailey. Glad you stopped by!

      November 3, 2010 at 6:01 am

  8. Codi

    A new reader here, although I think you’ve turned me into a devoted follower already. Love your style of writing, the stories are great, the training reasonable, and the goosebumps very real. Thank you!

    November 3, 2010 at 5:55 am

    • Welcome, Codi, and thanks so much for commenting. You made me smile. 🙂

      November 3, 2010 at 6:01 am

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