I hear the leaves rustling in the wind with a sound reminiscent of a singing brook and I see their color changing and I am reminded once again that autumn has come. I love the changing of the seasons because they help me remember to try to grasp each moment before it fades away.
Yesterday evening's horse ride is one moment that has crystallized in my mind. The air was crisp, I had my polar fleece jacket zipped all the way up like a turtleneck sweater and I was riding on Stormy all alone, but not lonely. As we went up the driveway we passed 'ole free roaming Charlie horse, who is just a little shy of 30 years of age. He lifted his head sleepily, slowly turning it to look us square in the eye and seemed to raise his gray 'eye brows' as if in asking a question. I smiled at him and said, "Hi Chuck", as we continued on our journey.
A while later, as I heard what sounded like a thundering herd of pigs coming behind me, I swiveled in the saddle and was surprised to see Charlie at a full gallop. I didn't seem to notice the gray in his hair or his bony rump. All I saw was the strength and beauty of an Arabian racing for the sheer fun of it. His neck was arched while his head was extended with nostrils flaring. His black mane and tail blew in the wind. It was poetry in motion. He raced passed us, tossing his head toward me and I noticed a joyful gleam in his eye. Could this truly be Charlie? He is our stay at home lazy and slow old man who usually likes to go no further than the orchard to steal a ripe pear or apple. I was stunned and laughed aloud.
Having shared that pure moment of joy with Charlie changed my little ride to check on calves. I was transported into a grand adventure. My sense of smell was heightened. The earth's smell reached out and brought my mind to a deep silence and I could almost taste the quiet sense of the land's potential. My ears then heard the song of birds and the rustle of dry leaves and grasses. I paused and listened to the music which was all around me. And the chill wind no longer bothered me, but reminded me that I was alive. Alive! Yes, Charlie's joy helped make me feel more alive and I wonder if all joy shared does that.