And is it okay if I kiss your feet?
Today the Universe looked around, said “Fine. Enough with the rain, already.” and flipped the “Spring” switch. It was only two days ago I was crawling underneath my house in four (cold) inches of water trying to get a pump set up.
Really? Like, for real, really? I want to touch everything to verify it’s not fake.
This is a Hollywood-level staging of Spring, The Musical.
There is a dove cooing on top of my neighbors fence. Two Goldfinches are arguing over seed in her feeder, while the third perches on a nearby branch warbling it’s little heart out. I stand corrected. Make that “belting it’s little Broadway heart out”.
Our lilac bushes, which looked like a bunch of dead sticks yesterday, have tiny green leaves and huge stacks of blooms. At this rate, our roses should push out at least one flower by tomorrow, even though they have only a few inches of new growth.
At the barn, the wild marigolds and nasturtiums are blooming. Grass is so thick and broad-leaved each blade looks like a miniature corn stalk.
Insert Disney-esque, heart-clutching, joyful gasp.
There it is. The surest barn sign of spring.
The first fly.
It zigged and zagged drunkenly in the general area of the manure pile.
Riding was sensory overload: the sun! The smells! The sounds! The warmth! The breezes sifting through the horses manes and up my arms.
I thought about using the video camera on my phone, and posting the footage. Then I realized you wouldn’t believe it was real. (Not because I have no idea how to get video from cell to blog, that wouldn’t be the real reason.)
I’ll try to recreate:
I rode Hudson on the access road, bareback, on the buckle, while ponying Dinero. Both horses were lulled into extreme mellowness by the warmth. They ambled. (I’m telling you, it was like being in a Western.) The three of us were hypnotized by the sunlight, the clip-clopping rolling movement of walking, and bursts of glorious cheerful singing/chirping/tweeting from the bushes.
A small butterfly frittered in the air, and landed on Hudson’s mane. (See? You would have thought I photoshopped that.) It rested on the crest of his mane, opening and closing white wings. The horses, the butterfly, and I round a turn in the road and hear the sound of a large, Victorian fan snapping open. Four wild male turkeys are competing for the attention of a bevy of not-very-interested ladies. They rotated their fanned tails this way and that, puffed out their body feathers, scrunched their heads down into their puffy breasts, and rattled their stiff wing feathers, as they circled and danced, their heads turning purple, white and blue.
A chain saw choked and started up, startling no one. The turkeys were too far into their amorous advances to notice, and the boys were too blissed out to care: they turned their heads to the VRRRrrrr VRRrrrrrr VRRrrr sound, mentally shrugged, watched a few tall branches crash down the tree trunks, and turned their attention back to the road.
We push our way through the dancing turkeys, who barely register the 1100 lb creatures looming over them. A cow lows across the valley. On the hill, you can hear a week old colt’s hooves pound the earth as he squeals and races around his mom. A rooster crows, a sheep baa’s. The breeze brings a sharp menthol whiff of eucalyptus trees and sugary cherry blossoms.
A lawn mower starts up, and the emerald fragrance of fresh-cut grass hovers lower to the ground. We pass the arena: there is high-pitched chirping up in the rafters. The layers, levels, and dimensions of sound and smell and feel rush in and recede, giving way to new pockets of each. Changing in intensity.
The scent of dirt, manure, grass, wild pear blossoms, warm horse, leather, menthol and gasoline (chain saw?) mingle and separate as we move through different scent, sound, and temperature zones. Mud wasps appear. Bright yellow with dangling back legs. They too, seem dazed and unsure of which direction they should be headed. One crashes into Hudson’s forehead. For a split second Hudson freaks, then shakes his head violently, snorting angrily at the wasp. Interesting. Good to know he’s been stung before. Dinero moves up and peers around at Hudson’s face, looking for the problem, as if he could help.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a horse do that.
Crows weave heavily across the sky. I look up at an unusual sound I rarely hear: a vulture is soaring on thermals nearby, and is adding its strange rusty notes to the rest of birdie joy bursting out of the trees and bushes.
I savor this. Vultures rarely make a sound while flying. I don’t think I’ve heard a vulture express happiness for 20 years. A memory to save. Happy vulture.
Vast expanses of green, blue, and white, with masses of yellow/orange and pink, shimmering through the heat waves drying up the earth.
All experienced through the clip-clopping lull of rolling side to side with Hudson’s hips, Dinero’s breath warm against my leg.
The reins are dropped on Hudson’s neck. In this moment, it feels like the three of us are in this together: all wanting to be exactly here, exactly now, exactly like this.