Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Brief Respite

I’ve noticed in the last few days that it is no longer dark when I go out at five o’clock to feed dinner to the horses and close their stall doors. It’s a first hint that we’re heading towards Spring. The temperature has also been teasing us into believing that we are getting closer.  The pasture was like a skating rink for quite a while, as the snow melted and the water froze to ice each night.  Siete got stuck out there on Saturday, and my husband had to go rescue her.  She slipped a few times until they were able to get outside the gate to the dirt and grass.  As soon as she realized that she was on solid ground, the crazy little horse started jumping with all four feet off the ground at the same time, like an equine pogostick.

Now that we are having one day without ice, I have to lead Silk out because she’s decided that she doesn’t like to get her feet muddy. She’s such a lady. The weather forecast calls for some snow and icy rain tomorrow, so this is only a brief respite, but I’m glad to have it.  There are some small pleasures that I’ve discovered here in the heart of winter. I found a little jasmine plant and some primroses at Trader Joe’s, and they are cheering up my kitchen. When I come downstairs in the morning, the house smells of jasmine. Some sweet red strawberries from California are also a treat at this time of year.

Yesterday, I got a wonderful surprise. My friends, Jeanne Betancourt and Manuela Soares, sent me a copy of their gorgeous new cookbook, “Farm Stand Fresh”. It has beautiful illustrations by Jeanne, and healthy, enticing recipes and notes from Manuela. While it whetted my appetite for summer and local produce, I know I can figure out a way to practice on a few of these dishes now to help avoid that January/February slump. A little asparagus and a bowl of strawberries can go a long way to keeping me happy.

“My teacher, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, uses an image I like: "happiness for no reason." When I think of that I think of being at home in one's body and mind, in life as it is. That feeling of belonging is quieter than a lot of the flash we try to experience, but it is ours, not someone else's to give us or to take away. It is steadfast and supportive, unbroken when conditions change. It can flourish in the face of obstacles, it can be there for us when everything else seems to fail, and it reminds us that each moment of life, delightful or painful, is precious.”
—Sharon Salzberg


C-ingspots said...

That is such a beautiful piece of writing Victoria! Very inspirational and so true. I love it - thank you for sharing. :)

I'm doing uncharacteristically good so far this winter...no blahs yet! It's the little treasures and treats that you've mentioned that can help so very much. Jasmine - what a lovely scent to welcome you into morning!

I can just picture your little Siete jumping with joy at being on solid ground! Those are precious moments to savor and enjoy!! It certainly made me smile, and I wasn't even there. Horses are such a blessing and a gift...I don't know if I could survive without them in my life. They bring me such pure joy and honesty; that keeps me grounded and in a thankful frame of mind.
I'm happy that you're getting a tiny respite from the cold. We've been frozen lately, but with some sunshine. No rain is always a blessing in Oregon. :) Take care.

Grey Horse Matters said...

I'm grateful that it's been getting a little lighter each day. I was surprised this past weekend when I was currying Dusty that she was shedding quite a bit. That does mean the days are slightly longer I guess.

Siete sounds like the cutest little girl jumping for joy when she was safe again. Silk should join up with my Maggie dog. Maggie couldn't possibly get her feet wet or muddy either. What a princess and with all this rain lately it hasn't been easy getting her out. Hoping we don't get too much snow and ice tonight!

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Also appreciating the extra minutes every evening...

Supposedly Queen Victoria used to hand pick primroses and give them to Disraeli. A treasure indeed. :D

Anonymous said...

Love this! Here I have bulbs coming up, Salina and the pony shedding, and a few other hints of spring - not here yet, for sure, but signs of such.

Someone bought strawberries last week here and I ate a handful - amazing how the taste can alter a mood so instantly.

Victoria Cummings said...

Snow has blanketed us again this morning. And freezing rain is supposed to start in a couple of hours. I'm making scones to go with those strawberries and some hot tea - keeping the winter doldrums away!

Strawberry Lane said...

Victoria, You always have some comment or quote that I save. Especially in this post: " each moment of life, delightful or painful, is precious.” Thanks!

Sweet little Siete , she certainly enjoyed her "moment"! Enjoy those California strawberries, and the wonderful smell of jasmine. What a way to start the day.

I want to thank you for your note about Little Joey. You were such a great support for me. And I will always remember what a tremendous help you were in keeping me together during Royal's rough times. We came close to losing him. He is a miracle and in complete recovery. I thank you a thousand times for being such a great and helpful friend.