Friday, March 2, 2007

Toto I think we are back in Kansas

I have itchy feet. I've also been fickled but that's a whole 'nother story. My Grandpa had it and it seems to skip a generation as both my parents were dug in solid. I can't seem to sit still despite an aching feeling of loss each time I "move on". I love my family very much. I love being home where everything is familiar. As I age, and my brain decays I find familiarity comforting. I walk through my Mothers home I touch everything as I go by. My fingers have brushed that same thing a thousand times over the years and it is known to me. Since my itchy feet demand I am constantly being confronted with new places and new stuff it's nice to feel at peace with these things.
It finally warmed up some recently. The whole day was so nice we drove with the window's down in the car. But then came the night and it rained "buckets" it rained "cats and dogs" it rained enough that creeks rose up and turned streets into lakes. Flash flooding filled with the incredible sight of lightening. Our front yard was covered with pea sized hail. I always liked that comparison. Pea sized hail. Sounds like a benediction. Just an hours drive south of us they had a tornado that was on the ground for most of 3 hours. Bopping up and down in the clouds in a nightmarish game of hop-scotch where the winner gets to keep his house. We just had high winds that blew trash cans down the street and into the neighbors garden. By morning, we had snow. Yep, I'm home. Kansas has once again reminded me of it's spectacular beauty; it's dramatic displays of climate. That sounds like a quote from Robert Heinlein. Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get.
Davina had to let her horse Clyde go recently. It was a horribly tough decision and hurt her terribly. Clyde was an old fellow that she loved dearly. He loved her too despite his mule-ish wasy. Is that a word? mulish? I don't know. Some of my favorite memories of her and Clyde are in the winter. He was a big bay gelding. Fancy way of saying he was brown and had been "fixed". The snow always seemed to compliment his coloring and make him look sort of warm and fuzzy. I thought about that as she led him down towards the woods to his final resting place. Clyde in the snow. The woods and the woods in the snow. It was just so darned appropriate since her fave poem is by Robert Frost, it's called
"In the Clearing".
I memorized it for her and would often quote it to her as a gift. She would lean her head forward and I would whisper the words into her ear while her hair would tickle my lips. In hindsight, it should be a requirement that you whisper this poem to someone. It's not written for a normal tone of voice. I would do this usually while we were outside someplace looking at woods and freezing. But it never failed to give her happy goose bumps so I was happy to be able to do it. The best kind of gifts cost nothing and make the giver as happy as the receiver. Now whenever I look at those woods in the winter I'll think of that horse and the last time I rode him. I should say the last time he threw me as he was getting good at it. Without further ado here's the poem as I recall it.

Whose woods these are I think I know
His house is in the village though
He will not mind me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The coldest night of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake
The only other sounds the sweep
Of frozen wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep
yes miles to go before I sleep.

The last three lines have been a catch phrase for me most of my life. I say it often, I think it more often. I have promises to keep. Hmmm... not one of my strong points. Although I used to be a lot better at it before my memory went south for the winter.

My John says I write with a Joycean flair. Sort of a stream of consciousness thing. This post is certainly indicative of that. I rambled with what ever came to mind. I think it comes from being a fast typist. The thoughts run through my head and fly out my fingers.
I learned today I have a fan base. It's now grown to 3 people. This is very exciting. I might get motivated to write more often.

1 comment:

Davina said...

I feel honored to be among the first of Emily's blogs.

I love the Robert Frost poem. It is the only poem/author I know on sight/hearing. I read it in a college communications class. To my surprise, Emily knew it. And I still get goose bumps when she recites it to me.

It wasn't til years later, that I could personally enjoy the meaning of the poem. Clyde was my first quiet horse ride in the snow. No sounds, but snow falling, his footsteps in the snow, and breathing.
Such a paeceful comfort.

After 17 years of time together, I miss my old friend. I, myself, believe that there was a fair bit of mule in Clyde. Smart as a whip, and honorary.

I could get Clyde to do most of the things I asked of him. He did his best to give other riders a challenge as much as possible.

I learned much from Clyde. Sometimes, you can not teach an old horse, some, new tricks. I spent lots of riding time, backing up & turning circles, trying to convince him, it was good to ride without another horse. I usually got dizzy or tired of backing, and went back to the barn where the other horses were waiting.

He loved coming to my bedroom window for a treat. The old saying, "The quickest way to a man's heart, is his stomach", is half true. Clyde would take a treat from me out riding in the pasture, and rush back to the barn, but stand for hours by my window.

Clyde knew how to work latches. All gates and doorways were double locked. The horses were able to find an unlocked gate and went for a couple mile walk one night. By the time Clyde trotted, walked, then drug himself back home he was tired. It wasn't til months later that I would learn how much Clyde learned from this.

One, nice, Fall afternoon, I intended to do something in the pasture and asked Ralph to open the gate. I got sidetracked watching a Western, while Ralph watched NASCAR. At the same time we saw Clyde, in the front yard.

Clyde, walked through several open gates. One that lead out to the road and beyond. I believe he remembered his last unsupervised trip up the road. Clyde chose grazing over traveling.

I know horses think and decide.