Some days the river runs wild, some days it’s calm and slick. This early morning it just rolls by to the sea. My friend the water is tired of the chill this blustery April morning. Ready for the Sun’s rays to shine upon it casting a million diamonds of reflection upon the now dull surface. The river is weary of Winter’s slumber and longs to be once again pulsing with life. Life that only the return of the light with its vibrant warmth can explode into existence. But today it’s still a catacomb of darkness. The life is there, but like myself, everything above, below , and beside, all seems to be holding its breath. Afraid a gasp of air will feed the harsh grasp of the cold and allow such the strength to hang on a few days longer.
The fields around us have turned the deep emerald green of new growth . Lengthening hours of daylight have called the juices to run in the grasses . Such as the light does in every living soul that gains sustenance from this land. My still winter shaggy horse paws impatiently at the rich black earth. Ready to be off. Either back to the sweet hay in the stable or on a leg stretching bolt as if together we can out run the chill. Its here on these riverbanks that I find my muse. The winds of history are strong here. The memories passed down from times before are encoded into my soul. Should I choose to wheel my steed around and run for the copse I will feel the pulse of the land in every stride as my sisters before me. A thing done wild and free away from the eyes of humans, just myself, horse and all that is nature. I think the big Oaks smile when I do this, oh not a visible one, but a smile all the same. For they are the sentinels that have been here hundreds of years. They watched us come to this land. Live, grow and die. Ashes to ashes, Dust to dust. They remember when few of us were here. Oaks that were small when my great grandmother rode her pony to this same riverbank to search for the signs. The signs of the turning of the seasons. A clarion call that life would proceed.
Time and tides have often not been gentle to this land. The winds of war have blown through feeding the soil that nurtured us with blood of her children . Long hot summers brought the fever and bodies sustained by this very earth were returned to lie beneath. The cycle began anew. I’ve often paused my mount out here and wished the Oaks could speak. Tell me what they have seen. Lovers trysts, mourner’s cries, and the joy of new lives arriving on this ancient landscape. Now I wonder what they would say? Why are you gone from us for so long? What has made your mind recede from the songs of the land? We hope you have not forgotten us for we are the guardians of your core. We know you better than you know yourself, for we’ve been with your people for many seasons. Your blood is in us and we are in you. Be still my child for your very essence hums upon this earth that gave you life.
I guess that’s why this chill grey April day. I chose to saddle up and ride the river bank. To once again become one with that which knows me well. To ponder the oncoming season and to make a cognizant act to slow down. To take the time to embrace that which knows me and that which fires my spirit. To gird my loins to wage a heated battle against time and for it. The for is to gather the most out the years one may run wild and free with youth’s strength yet to ebb. The against is to find the ability to hold off those robbers of our time. To possibly forewarn those coming after me that its not about what they have been led to believe. Its so much more. Today I find my course to finally ride free. The trees are smiling.