In the last week, while I’ve been glued to the TV and computer watching the horrible events unfolding for my neighbors down the road in Boston, spring arrived. I’m not sure when, exactly, it happened. But I am sure when, exactly, I noticed.
Roy’s been gone all week, which is the worst. I left a voice mail for him last night telling him that in the future, he is NOT allowed to leave the country when terrorists are on the loose in Boston. It’s going to be a relationship rule, right up there with “clean beard shavings from the sink” and “leave the seat down”. He gets back later today, and I can hardly wait. But in the meantime, I needed to decompress. All horse people will know that the best possible thing to do when you need to decompress is to go to the Barn, and off I went. I wanted to ride, but it was windy, which puts bugs in Huey’s brain and makes him think he’s a Wild Horse. And the ring was soaking wet, and I just didn’t think the combination of uneven muddy footing and Wild Horse time was a desirable one, so I thought I’d bring him in, dust him off, and just bond a little bit inside the barn.
That’s when I noticed.
Everything was green.
We didn’t really have this in Texas. First, in some parts of the state, nothing is ever green. In others, everything is green, and it’s green all year round.
Here in New England, it’s different. Summer is pretty green, then there are our legendary autumn colors. And winter, with snow on everything, is gorgeous. But New England has six seasons, not the usual four. In addition to spring, summer, fall, and winter, we have Stick Season and Mud Season. Stick Season happens after the last lovely orange leaf drifts from the trees, leaving…sticks. Sticks everywhere. You really don’t know how many sticks there are until you go through Stick Season. It’s not in the least bit picturesque, and it goes on until it begins to snow. Mud Season starts as soon as the snows begin to melt. It’s…muddy. Very muddy. Epic, sucking-the-shoes-right-off-your-feet muddy. And it’s brown, the color of mud. Brown brown brown brown brown.
Mud Season always seems to last forever. The eye gets used to the brown and stops seeing things. You start to forget that the world has other colors in it, other than brown. And it lasts right up until it’s gone. I know that sounds goofy, but it’s how it happens. One day everything is brown, brown, brown, brown, like it has been since the Dawn of Time. The next day, the colors flood back into the world, just like when Dorothy’s house lands in Oz. The colors don’t creep in. They just…arrive, all at once.
Spring arrived on Friday, this year. Suddenly, the ground was this brilliant emerald green. Suddenly, scruffy thickets everywhere reveal that they are forsythias, by bursting out in brilliant yellow, like when the villain has his disguise torn off by Scooby Doo. The sunny yellow bells of daffodils erupt everywhere, waving with the breeze. And this all pretty much happened here yesterday. It sure wasn’t like that on Thursday when I was out at the barn getting Huey reshod.
That’s when I developed my New, Improved Master Plan.
I was going to take Huey out, not to ride, but to eat grass. It was perfect. As we know, The Wonder Horse develops a laser-like focus when he believes there may be a treat around. And for him, as much as he loves carrots and German Horse Muffins, everything absolutely pales in comparison to grass. And he has given me to understand that there is no better grass than spring grass. Those fine little tendrils of verdant herbage erupting from the recent mud flats. Grass.
So I took him out on his lead, walked him ten feet away, and gave him the Sign: Eat Now. He was thrilled. And, really, there’s nothing more relaxing than watching that laser-like focus directed at the ground, and listening to the tearing and chomping. Twenty minutes of that undid two hours of yesterday. I don’t need to take two aspirin and call in the morning, I just need to go out and meditate on Huey Eating Grass.
On the way back home, I noticed that the trees are seriously budding out. In another week or so, this place is going to be a veritable fairyland of flowers. Tulips. Daffodils. Hyacinths. And my favorite: tree flowers. There’s a house down the street from me that isn’t anything special in itself, but has a pair of ancient and enormous flowering trees in the front. A friend of mine told me once that she’d seriously considered buying that house, just for those trees. I could believe it, too. Those trees are exceptional, a vision worth writing home about.
It came home to me that it’s like this every year. Every year, I completely forget about spring. Every year, I am struck as for the first time by the sensational beauty of it all. Every year, I am gifted with a bright shining exuberant spring, and every year, it comes as a total surprise.