Monday, December 28, 2009

Fresh Reminders of What Has Passed

It snowed here about three weeks ago. The snow stayed on the ground, fluffy and deep enough to provide some cushion over the frozen earth. There's something special about the first few snowfalls that come before the first thaw. Hacking in the snow, or during a snowfall is just about the most fun that can be had with a horse. After the first falls there's no need to worry about hidden ice until the thaw comes. There aren't any layers of crusty snow and ice to scrape the horses' legs. Just a bouncy trotting horse spraying snow into the air as he asks for a gallop.
My boy hadn't asked for a gallop for a long time, but we did a lot of hacking in the snow over his last few years. It was great exercise for his stifles. With the first snow came the reminder that I will never take him out for a hack in the snow again. He won't reach out as we pass a snow laden cedar and bend back a branch that will fling it's load all over me as it snaps back when he lets it go. We won't head out into the glow of a moonlit snowscape, or wander through a forest of bare limbed trees as snow gently falls.
First snow hack without my boy. First Christmas without my boy. I miss him still. These firsts bring back the loss, but without the tearing intensity of the first days after he was gone. It's a bittersweet sadness as the first snow, first hack, first Christmas without him remind me of the times we had together.

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