The road to the barn was no less snowy. The way over the hill provided a taste of winter bleakness contrasting harshly with the slushy damp of the plain below. Up here the margin for error was very much less. Moves needed to be planned, caution exercised and hazards actively scanned for. Especially now that the occasional urban visitor thinks that he or she is "used to" the snow and can drive faster than appropriate.
Our ride was quiet and kept off the roads. Out of the village Brena and I entered a world greyer and mistier than the previous day. Riding onto a broad while field is strangely disorienting. The lack of visual reference close up creates a disparity between real and perceived motion. It feels as if one is riding faster than reality.
I knew where we were heading, a distant gap in a hedge. But the way there was a blank canvas, the trail hidden, untrodden since the snow fell. It was like being at sea in a small boat that responded to the slightest ripples. Yes, we were in the midst of a great white ocean. I could steer which course I chose.
Now the landscape is sculptural. Detail has been sacrificed for form. Broad sweeps are beautiful as her naked limbs. The valley is like the bare small of her back, smooth and sensuous. She is frozen and yet welcoming, rigid and yet alive. She is silent and yet I am her guest, happy and grateful to be invited. I accept her embrace with a smile, joyful in solitary communion. Yes, Brena and I are out with our friend.
Desultory snow showers continued to fall, barely snow and almost sleet. The sun tried to penetrate the thin clouds and almost succeeded. It was a day of might-have-beens. Heavy snow might have weighed in. Or bright sun might have illuminated a white landscape. But the weather took a middle course.
I appreciated the tranquility. The opportunity to have the trail to ourselves was welcome. The quiet was lovely, a great big silence to fill with thoughts and dreams. The day was made for Brena and I to enjoy. For Brena that pleasure encompassed a nice comfortable stable and a generous feed of fresh hay upon her return. She is living well, my mare.