Thursday, December 3, 2009
Traditions: December Moon Over a Night Barn
I love barns at night. The soft light emanating in the darkness. You just know the animals are in there, warm, well-fed, secure.
Especially during the Christmas season, barns take on added meaning. I was playing Christmas songs on the piano last night and I was struck by this line in What Child is This?, my favorite of all the Christmas songs:
Why lies he in such mean estate, where ox and ass are feeding?
I remember posting a picture of this exact same moon last Fall. As a matter of fact, I used it as part of the banner for this blog. (Above) And there it was again last night. I called it the December Moon. It's born of frost and sunshine.
My farrier came out yesterday. We both agreed we'd love winter if every day was like yesterday. Beautiful moon. Sunshine. Cold.
And then, this morning--frost on the ground and Beautiful waiting in her new/old enclosure for breakfast. We had our first official "lesson" (because every day, no matter what you do, you are giving them lessons) in months yesterday--going over the basics again of disengaging front and hind-quarters. At first she was a little confused when I approached her from the side--as if I was Cowgirl, the alpha mare, getting ready to bite her. I saw it in her eyes, so I stopped and reassured her--it's me--I'm fair--I'm predictable--I don't bite.
I rubbed her neck a little bit and then asked for her step. She disengaged and crossed over nicely, like I wanted. I took the one step and reassured her again. She licked her lips and relaxed and the rest of the lesson was just wonderful. Partnership--no fear. She tucked her head and backed up with the slightest pressure on the nose, she moved fluidly each time I asked it of her. Now that is one filly who is happy to be with humans again.
I'm glad I introduced her to the herd for the summer, but in all honesty, she didn't seem to really blend well with them. She was happy to get away from them, and they were thrilled to get Cowboy back.
The farrier visit was beyond great. If there was a mark higher than A+, she'd get it. She picks up her feet now as she sees him approach them. She does it for me, as well. I think if she could pick out her own feet, she'd do it. After he was done she followed him around wanting to be in his back pocket. I guess all humans are looking pretty good to her right now.
Here's Mount Spokane this morning as I went out to feed them, but where is the moon?
Here it is, in the West.
See this paper angel on the tree? My kids and I put it up last weekend. I love putting up the tree. We have an artificial one because I grew up with an artificial. The tree becomes its own tradition, just like the ornaments.
This angel was something I purchased a long time ago when I was teaching. I believe my oldest son was only a year old at the time. One of the teachers brought them into the lounge and sold them. I bought this one and it became our tree angel. Each year the kids take turns putting it on.
She looks pretty raggedy at this point, I had to hem her dress with tape, but she keeps coming out each year to do her job.
And the foyer is transformed yet again--to Christmas.
What family traditions do you have? Favorite Christmas songs? CDs? Ornaments? Trees? Food? I'll be the first to answer this question in comments. We have lots and lots of traditions and I love every one of them.
Traditions are like that December Moon, something that returns, something that, when everything falls down around you and your life is in chaos, are there to guide you to safety.