I am writing this having come back from a long-overdue walk down my road. After two driveways, I observed my neighbours abandoned house and acreage. Here the horses died over the winter, and now their dirt pasture is a mass of daisies.
For 20 plus years, I knew Patches, Babe and Dusty. I like to think they knew me. Being able to talk about the evidence of this in this world is still pending…
This spring, I took a while to register their absence. I was still looking for the horses. Visible at the intersection every time my car returned home and when not visible…noticed. I didn’t realize how much I was watching, witnessing and when I could participating in what was the best I could do for them.
Now I like to think a display of white daisies on their earth table is their reward. What they really ate and what made them survivors and not sufferers.
This arrangement included in the early years the Black Lab “Blotto”. He was abandoned to a chain and a dog house to protect what an empty place can invite, how he dragged his dog house to show his enthusiasm for Jessey and me when we walked by — waiting to repeat the effort when we walked back. A few times he escaped and like all Labs slobbered his way down the road. A black flash oblivious to a heavy chain flying out like a ribbon on a kite.
We knew he was gone when the house and chain disappeared. But not before he spent a few weeks dragging his dog house without his back legs working. For several months Jessey turned her head as if to remind me we were walking by Blotto’s post. Jessey had empathy as most animals do.
You can’t start with what’s wrong to make something right. My neighbour knew I liked his horses and even asked me to ride them. I said no. But I phoned him every time the horses were out and in danger of the Highway. I helped him catch them ’cause wouldn’t you know they usually came to my house. Last spring I called him to let him know I didn’t like the way Patches was looking and were he aware?
So I’m telling you this story to emphasize what seeing Daisy’s in their pasture meant to me today. Here where there was never enough grass growing for three horses to eat. Tall waves of white dancing in the breeze. I had tears in my eyes.
The daisies are telling me to celebrate. Celebrate the beauty of all those years. Of the horse’s survival and how they were actually cared for by Life! In the presence and absence of suffering, they lived into old age, and that is their Victory. For Horse and Dog and one nosey neighbour maybe mine too.
©Katie Kidwell, 2019 The Living Of Loving
©GWJ Creative Art