lets get this show on the road
I struggled to open my eyes when the rock concert suddenly blared from my alarm clock, the sound of loud Marshall amps jolting me out of my slumber. The clock blinked 4:45 am. My arm flung out, searching for the button to stop the infernal noise and I started to pull the covers back over my head, but I knew that wasn't an option. Swinging my feet out of the covers, they hit the cold floor and I stood up to get my bearings.
In the kitchen, I started emptying the fridge of its horde of fruits and vegetables. The knife sliced dangerously through the air, narrowly missing my finger, as I chopped and shredded. Oatmeal mixed with eggs, beans and pasta warmed in the microwave, a colourful salad of veggies and fruit was on the menu for today, as it was everyday. I piled the food onto glass pie plates and started transporting the colourful offerings, two at a time, to the basement. When I turned on the lights I was greeted by cheerful hellos and squawks from the waking parrots. The morning avian hello always brought a smile to my face. I greeted everyone by name, and carefully observed them for a moment, before moving on to the next pair of parrots. While the birds dug into their breakfast I checked their water supply then dragged myself upstairs to get showered and dressed.
I pulled big warm boots, and a long coat over my office clothes and braced myself. The blast of winter air that hit my face when I opened the door almost sent me back to bed, but I had an appointment with a computer, so I forced myself out into the cold. Wind had drifted the snow over the path, but there was no time to shovel. Pushing through the drifts towards the barn I thought of the day ahead of me - inside, with no windows to the sky - I felt grateful for these few minutes of Nature, even in her fury.
The large bodies of the horses had warmed up the little barn, and low nickers greeted me. Shoeing them all out, I picked up the night's accumulation of manure, then struggled with the huge muck bucket, dragging it out to the manure pile. Next, I spread out several flakes of hay onto the floor, a pile for each horse. Calling them in, each horse chose a pile and started their breakfast. I paused for a moment burying my face in the thick coat of the closest one and listened to the rhythmic chewing. A feeling of peace and contentment washed over me. These few minutes of equine therapy would get me through the busy day.
I trudged again through the deep snow to the waiting car, I was grateful that I had this opportunity to live my dream but it was now time to rush across snow covered roads, through heavy traffic, and into town to the paying job.
After work the process reversed itself. A drive through rush hour, into the house to change and prepare steaming buckets of warm mash, then outside with Carm to clean the barn and feed the horses. If it was warm enough I'd clean their hooves and brush them. A few minutes of training would be shoehorned into the evening. Once back into the house it was time to feed the dogs, and take care of the birds. The parrots would all get a fresh helping of pellets along with a walnut. We'd sweep the floor and say goodnight. If I was lucky Carm and I had a few minutes for supper before we'd go out to the barn again for bedtime hay. My head would sink into the pillow when it was finally time for bed, anxious to get to sleep before the band played again.