The first day of Fall and it seems like just yesterday I was tearing off my pantyhose in the bathroom at my office and kicking out of my work wardrobe. I’d have slid myself into a well worn pair of cutoffs with a soft cotton t shirt and headed out of the city. The traffic would be terrible as usual, bumper to bumper, as I was rolled down that road to freedom with my a/c blasting on high. I’d recall watching the computer screen fade to black as I switched it off with a “Thank you Lord, this week is done”.
It takes me a good hour to come clear of the city and hit the wide open country side; another just to arrive in the low country. But even if it’s hotter that Hades on the worst day, I’d always pop open the sunroof and roll down the windows just to bathe in that pungent low country air. Yeah, I know its 2017 and I’m a woman now in her mid fifties. I should be getting my nails manicured and awaiting details of grandchildren near and afar. But old dogs don’t like new tricks and I’m pretty much an old dog at this stage, plus I never slowed my roll enough to pop out the first kid, so if a grandchild showed up it would be hell holy miracle. As for the nails, my destination held no future or purpose for a fancy shaping and a fresh coat of polish. I was doing as I’ve always done and heading to the horses . Those gentle beings of peace and power I’d enjoyed in solidarity with many like minded women across the nation, oh give me a break, around the world for as long as my memory serves.
Now I know many of my business compatriots tend to think a lady of my advanced age and obvious sophistication would be delicately sipping chardonnay and discussing the latest fashions on a patio overlooking a vibrant cityscape on a Friday night. Wrong. A lady of my advanced age and sophistication is whipping her car in to a country convenience store to pick up a twelve pack of beer and two of those she will not delicately sip, but she will slam back as she walks barefoot through the pasture to catch her fat horse. Once beer two has been chugged the lady of advanced age and now possibly dubious sophistication will feel pretty darn confident that she can just climb on her horse bareback and ride it back to the barn to be saddled. The story might sound a bit better if she rode the fields in a daring manner and bareback. But a lady of advanced age needs the saddle bags for the rest of the twelve pack.
Now all that being said, there’s possibly nothing better on this earth as I see it than being out under the sky with a summer slick horse between my legs, the sounds of the cicadas singing in the treetops and a cold beer in my hand. Out on this rich black earth I’ve watched the corn go from tender sprouts to giant stalks waving high above my head. I’ve seen a million fireflies dance in the forest that lines the riverbanks and the thick Junes bugs dance in the grasslands . I’ve raced many a storm home across the pastures with lightning cracking across the skies and thunder roaring in the distance. Though I consider this land blessed it often seems like a million degrees with a hundred percent humidity out in these rich Carolina fields. Even with the cooling of the evening hours sweat still rolls down your chest and drips from your legs. My sassy steed always has a slick sheen of perspiration across her glossy coat after a day in the sun. The slightest breeze is the most sacred of gifts and from that one is instantly reminded the smallest of things truly count. By this time I’ve watched the lily pads in the ponds go from vibrant circles of green cast upon the blue black canvas of the water, to green circles with brilliant blooms of pink and white. Crops have sprung to life, kissed the skies for a brief time and fallen to the harvest as rode the edges of their domain on many a sultry Friday night. But just like the days in that shimmering summer sun have etched a few more lines upon my face and freckles upon my skin. The memories of those dusky rides have will forever remain the core of my being and that which carries me when the nights become long and the days become short.
So on this first day of Fall as the seasons meld into one another and Summer recedes into the past, this lady of advanced age who gives not a whit about sophistication is still going to shed her panty hose at five o’clock, pick up a twelve pack and head for the horses. Yes, she’ll slam two down on the way to catch her fat horse , she’ll look at the leaves just starting to turn with the first blush of Fall and she’ll decide not to ride in bareback this time , but to enjoy the stroll.