"Remember life’s a pretty precious and wonderful thing. You can’t sit down and let it lap around you…. You have to plunge into it; You have to dive through it! And, you can’t save it, you can’t store it up; You can’t horde it in a vault; You’ve got to taste it; You’ve got to use it. The more you use – the more you have… that’s the miracle of it!" - Kyle Samuel Crichton
I think this quote speaks to how I try to live my life and it’s usually about this time of year, that I realize how sometimes, it catches up to me.
Fall only made it’s debut for a week in Northwest Montana this year. We got cheated a bit it seems. We literally went from mid eighties to 50’s for a week and then it’s been frigid ever since. Low’s in the single digits and highs only in the 20’s or 30’s. I don’t know if we’ll get a return to more fall like weather. Last Wednesday, I drove to work and had to use 4 wheel drive in my truck. The roads were covered in ice and there was new blanket of snow covering the ground and foliage. It was odd seeing greenery covered in white.
This past weekend, Tom and I suddenly found ourselves scrambling to get things around the farm winterized. There were still paddocks to scrape, planters and patio furniture to tuck away, fencing to finish and water tank heaters to install to name just a few things. Certain things couldn’t wait until the weekend and last Thursday night found us out in the corrals with headlamps at 8:00 p.m. getting the water tank heaters installed before the frigid Canadian cold front came blowing in. At least that was one thing off the agenda for the weekend!
This weekend marked the first in many weeks that not a single hour of it involved a plan to ride a horse. (even though I did steal a quick ride on Maggie) As we worked on various winterizing things around the place, I realized how we are essentially preparing to slow the pace down for a few months. After a busy summer, I found myself looking forward to this change of pace.
With spring and summer, things tend to humm along at a somewhat frenetic pace around Acer Farm. There is gardening and lawn work to do, BBQ’s and weddings to attend, houseguests to entertain, horses to ride, condition and train and last and still my own exercise routine to squeeze in. Obviously it can’t all get done so something has to give. As much as I hate to admit it, housekeeping chores are usually the first to be abandoned and the second thing to go are meals that require much time. Housecleaning involves a quick vacuum once a week to pick up the obvious dirt and meals are usually grilled meat and a vegetable or cold salad. Nothing fancy but enough to keep us going.
As fall and winter of 2009 loom ahead, I will embrace the change of pace as much as I possibly can, and take some much needed time to rest and reorganize. I am sad that hours in the saddle will begin to be less and less but on the other hand, I am looking forward to more time for the things that I have not been able to do since last April.
I will surrender myself to ride when the footing is safe and the cold is not too severe. I will catch up on the books and movies I have wanted to read or see. I will vacuum and dust more often. (smile) I will take time to just sit by the fire with a purring cat in my lap. will spend time organizing my home office. I will schedule a massage. I will make time for a drink at happy hour with a friend. I will stay late at work more often. I will go skiing and ice skating and snow shoeing. I will spend more time with family. All of these things I will do to renew my soul and mind to prepare for spring to arrive once again, when the sun begins to warm my face, birds will sing, horses begin to shed their wintery layers of fur and daylight hours begin to win the race once again.
And then; let it all begin again, racing home from work, to saddle a horse, to get down the trail once more, to burn the candle at both ends. I can hardly wait……