I am missing all of this:
the sunshine that melts on my tanned face
as I stand in the riding ring
watching the up-downers learn how to post.
The smell of alfalfa hay and clean shavings,
the sweet and pungent smell of warm manure.
I am missing the simple chores –
raking the courtyard in a criss-cross pattern,
dragging a hose to fill water buckets,
sweeping the paved and brick floors in each section,
even stacking hay in the loft in towering columns.
The swish of tails and the soft nickers of strong-withered beauties.
The peals of laughter from campers at overnights.
The Peter, Paul and Mary songs we sang,
gathered around a blazing bonfire and
the midnight trail rides to Valley Forge Park.
I miss the weekend horse shows from sunup to sundown,
the special brunch after the Thanksgiving Day Hunt,
the traditional Christmas party at the stables
and always going with Dave to choose the tree,
the early morning hours to braid manes and tails,
bandage legs, load tack in the trunk, load horses in trailers.
I miss the walks to the pasture to release horses to buck and play,
the walks to the creek with Winnie dog to teach her how to swim,
the evenings sitting on the stone ledge outside the courtyard,
sitting in silence before I went home,
watching the fireflies blink on and off
in the inky, sweaty-warm June night
and filling the trees like tiny Christmas lights.
I am missing all of it,
each and every day!