Friday, October 2, 2009

Rosie and Wind

Gabe asked me to spend some time with Rosie while she was away in Cookeville, cleaning for my parents and taking a Saturday workshop in contemporary dance. Rosie is her two-and-a-half year old filly, and is now in a separate pasture from our two other horses, her mom, Lucy and our gelding, Ollie. Gabe said it was time to wean Rosie (short for Rosie Cotton, named after Samwise Gamgee’s wife). So, now, separated from her horse family only by a fence line and our driveway, Rosie is anxious and lonesome. I walked down to give her a carrot.

From the far end of the field she whinnied and came walking over to take it from my hand. The wind was blowing her mane and banging the loose piece of tin on our stable. She took the carrot, gladly, and stayed with me at the fence while I brushed flies from her face, scratched the side of her neck, and told her that this separation was only temporary. I think she understood.

Rosie understands a lot more than most of us. She was born in the field just down from our well. We call it the Well Pasture. She was born on Gabe’s 13th birthday, March 21st, just a hair before midnight.

Gabe has a special touch with horses, communicates with them using few gestures, and even fewer words. She calls their names and they come running, like in a Walt Disney movie. There is an empty chair in the bamboo where she goes to meditate. Large Chinese poll bamboo, not native, an almost twenty-year-old patch, now a small forest. Inside of it you feel clean, still and orderly. I walked through on my way to give Rosie her carrot.

Near the pasture gate there is a puddle, shallow, filled with last night’s rain. I walk around it, and wonder if it is clean enough to drink from. Probably two-hundred years ago my body would have had the correct bacterial balance to tolerate such fresh water as this. Now I only avoid it, and wonder how long it will take to soak into the ground.

The same wind that blows Rosie’s mane is drying the clothes on the line. The best kind of weather for laundry day. Each tee-shirt, panty and pair of jeans becomes a Kentucky prayer flag, carrying our gratitude and wishes across the treetops, and northeast to the Appalachians. I hope they make it over those mountains, all the way to the ocean.

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