Saturday, October 11, 2014

My Morning Joy

Isn't it funny how you can't remember the origins of a ritual that ends up being so meaningful? I don't know exactly when I made the first contact with the ponies. All I know is stopping to feed and pat these friends has become the sweet spot of my days.
As far as I recall, this moment during my morning walks on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, most of those days, began last year. There was a day when the two ponies were in this field on my way back up the road so I stopped to say hello. The next time I stopped with clover and they happily accepted. They weren't always in this field but if they were, we met at the fence to say hello. They let me pat them although the smaller, darker pony is less forward because the brown one makes her so. So I sneak extra to the black pony with her sweet hippopotamus face.
Now I must stop at the beginning of my walk as well because if they are in the field in the morning, they watch for me, trot to the fence when they see Abby and me coming. They recognize us.
How amazing to be known by horses that are not your own.
It was this fall that the big grey fella took an interest in what was going on at the fence. The first time he wandered over, he stood back, wouldn't take any of the clover I held out. Then I discovered apples lying in the lane on the going-up-the-road side of the road, red apples scattered on the ground under an apple tree across from our meeting spot. I scooped up several, cracked them open a bit with the heel of my shoe and offered them up. The big grey fella thought that was okay.
The third time he came over for an apple, he allowed me to touch his big, velvety nose. The bliss of that moment! The fourth time, and all other times since, I'm allowed to pat his face and neck and chest.
I love love love this.
My heart swells when they see us coming along the road and they trot to us, trot alongside the fence to our meeting spot, wait as I collect the apples, nudge me for more. They are not nippy, they are not skittish. They are happy to eat these apples.
I love love love this.
This is not a weird thing to be thankful for. The horses are grateful for the apples, sure, but I am much more grateful for their acceptance of me. If they sense I know nothing about horses but their gorgeousness, they don't hold it against me. Not as long as I'm offering apples.
"You were gone a long time this morning," my husband will say when I arrive home.
"I had a visit with my friends," I tell him and joy ripples through my body.

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