Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A fine golden light

Twice a day she buckles the old horse's halter on and leads him to a nearby meadow to graze on the lush grass. He's 29 years old; she's had him since he was a colt of two. His coat, once dapple gray, is now pure white. His liver is failing. He will not be on this earth another week.

One day I go with her to meet the horse. He greets me politely, with a touch of his nose. We stand quietly, listening to the rhythmic sound of the horse tearing at the grass. She watches, taking him in, memorizing him. She is getting ready to let him go. "How will you know when it's time?" I ask. "He'll let me know when he's ready," she tells me.

Every now and then he raises his head and looks at her and I can feel the current of love and trust between horse and human. "He'll always be with me," she says. There in the fading light, the air fragrant with late spring, the old horse crops at the grass and everything seems as it should be. And I think of Vincent van Gogh and his famous painting of the reaper in the wheatfield: "There is nothing sad in this death, it takes place in the sun, which floods everything with a fine golden light."

6 comments:

farmlady said...

Oh Tai, this is beautiful. I hope that we all leave... in a beautiful place filled with sunlight.
I'm so touched by this post.
Thank you....

Apifera Farm said...

This post has such meaning for me, brought shivers to my skin. I am going to write that quote down.

smartz said...

My son has a couple of horses, one of which is an older mare. I sent him your post and he was very moved. Thank you for your writing.

Pattie Wall said...

So true of all our pets and friends - what a beautiful piece!

Tai said...

Welcome, Pattie, and thank you. I'm looking forward to exploring your blogs and your paintings.

Smartz, I am honored that you shared this post with your son. And I hope he has lots and lots of time left with his horses.

Katherine, I thought of you when I was writing this. I know you have had plenty of sorrow on your farm, along with all the joy. I have had that quote with me for years, but I never understood it until the passing of this horse.

Thank you so much, dearest Farmlady….

itzktb said...

This is a stunning piece. Thank you for the gift.