Signs of the returning of the sun are beginning to show around here on the ranch. After weeks and weeks buried under unusual amounts of snow, the frozen hellscape is beginning to thaw and the ground is poking out. Never in my life would I have imagined being so full of joy at the sight of mud.

The horses seem equally delighted, there is much rolling and napping on the small patches of ground that have managed to dry up. I spend my days working on dismantling various frozen poop mountains as the snow beneath melts away, and hanging out with the horses, burying my hands in their thick coats to give rigorous scratches to their itchy spots – “mutual grooming” helps form strong bonds between us all.

Not much is asked of anyone during these cold temps, just moments of togetherness and simple tasks, like being polite to come in to the stalls at feeding times, and not knocking over my muck buckets. I love these creatures, and all that they encompass. Most horse people know that even cleaning stalls is a meditative practice, it is very centering for me.

Living at the ranch has offered me a lot of opportunity to learn about myself, learn about ranch life. It has given some direction to my vision going forward, also how to operate better as a functional human without getting in my own way. For instance, writing in the morning at my little table, which is ready to rock and roll when I sit down, instead of all my supplies and laptop being tucked away in the cupboard where I’m likely to forget its existence. This helps me find my motivation and determination to put fingers to keyboard and type – even if it’s just stream of consciousness like this post – at least I’ve done something.

Next will be dishes and then off to work at the store, my days are definitely full. I’m forever working on striking that work life balance, work definitely tips the scales but the horses remind me to take time for peace and play.

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