I almost wrote this entry into my handwritten journal, which I take such great pleasure in since I bought an el cheapo fountain pen off Amazon and some luxurious ink. For whatever reason, I felt like I wanted to share these thoughts with you today. They’re not profound or particularly interesting, but they’re in my head, and in a few minutes, they will be out in the world.
It’s a warm and fuzzy sort of morning. I’m still in my pyjamas, wearing slippers that a friend gifted me for my birthday, one of the Cowboy’s old shirts for warmth, and I’m tucked under a blanket in my favourite chair. Outside, it is raining, and the relief that comes with it is powerful. The summer has been uncharacteristically hot and dry this year, leaving our pastures bare and dusty and the fire risk utterly overwhelming. It is not just here in Washington. With over one million acres of Montana on fire, Cowboy’s home state is being devastated, and it is heartbreaking. But this morning, I can see my old paint horse grazing in the rain, finally rid of the worst of the flies for a few hours. I can practically hear the earth sucking the moisture in, the plants stretched and sighing with glee as they feel the dust and ash being rinsed from their leaves.
The leaves are starting to turn on many of the roads through the county, as if the trees have had enough of summer and are going to enforce autumn, whether the sun is ready or not. I am glad to see the back of the heat, which may or may not be over for us. As I sip my tea from the safety of my seat here, I hope that the rain clouds will wander on across the country to blot out the wildfires, wash the smoke from the firefighters’ eyes, and fill up the pools and rivers for the livestock and wild animals who have somehow managed to weather the terror.
I could get political, discuss the causes and theories about why the fires are so bad – the Cowboy has strong feelings about it, and I’ve tried to find a balanced viewpoint in my research, but I’m going to leave it alone, and just gently fan the grey skies along and tell them they have work to do.
Last night, the Cowboy and I spent the evening at a small, private concert hosted in somebody’s home. Dave Stamey was the performer, a cowboy poet and songwriter that we love, and whose song ‘Come Ride With Me’ was our first dance at our wedding. Before the music started, we joined the other guests for supper, and Dave himself sat next to me at our table (the seat was technically taken by the Cowboy, but I didn’t think he’d mind). We talked about the fires, about mules, camping, hat makers, and good horses. We connected with a couple who are related to the sellers of a property in Ellensburg that I have been lusting after on Zillow – and they urged us to connect with them again so we could visit the property, so the Cowboy could meet the saddle maker who is selling and looking for somebody to take over his business, so we could swap stories some more. The Cowboy considered how he’d go back to day working, building saddles on the side, shoeing a few horses here and there, and I wondered if he would be happier that way. He fits right in with these people – it’s how he was made. It’s a small, rich world.
Dave sang and told stories for us for a few hours. There are so many songs that we would bracket under our favourites that he couldn’t possibly have played them all, but there were a few that came up. ‘The Circle’ is a song that has always spoken to me, although I can’t pretend to know the life that it speaks about. I find the song to be comforting, reliable, and so familiar. Perhaps I really was a ranch wife in a previous life. He ended with ‘Come Ride With Me’, and the Cowboy and I tapped out the rhythm on each other’s knees. We bought an extra copy of the ‘Come Ride With Me’ album, which the lovely man signed for us.
I woke up on the farm this morning feeling renewed. The rain, the rest that comes from changing scene and changing pace just for a few hours, the relief of finding Sir Geoff exactly where he is supposed to be – sleeping on the pile of clean laundry on the counter in the laundry room. While I have been worried about so many things this summer, overworked and overwhelmed, this wet and gloomy morning reminded me to sit and breathe.
There is time to clear out the garden and till the soil again. There is time to clean the house. There is time to rebuild the old barn. There is time to repair the chicken house. There is time to finish the massage building. Business will come. There is time. Our family will change and grow, and our marriage will have to adapt, but there is time. Every day, I’ll just ride the circle again.