In the mountains, we are closer to life, closer to death. It is all around us, every day, a part of our breath, the beat of our heart, the view before us, the ground below our feet.
Yesterday, a filly was found dead. A two year old horse. Where is the “right” in this? We do not judge. We have to accept, learn, move on, do better. At the same time, we began to build a new foaling shed for Tres who is due in about a months time. This is what life is about in the mountains. As you mourn the loss of one, you prepare for the birth of another. One tree falls, another grows in its wake.
We were gathering materials from the junk piles, Bob dragging them by snowmobile and stacking them on the snow in place where we will be building the new shed. But we couldn’t build the shed under the threat of this huge Blue Spruce falling on it, and that tree was on its way down. I have been watching the roots inch their way out of the ground over the past month or so, able to notice this as my archery target was leaning against the base of the tree, so I’d actually see the difference each week as I practiced with my long bow. The past week was the worse, with the roots popping up above the ground, exposing fresh dirt underneath daily. The tree was going soon. If we let it fell on its own, chances were it would take down the two good trees next to it, or at least get caught up in them and be a real hazard. The lean of the tree was so great that it seems the most direct path was into those trees, but altering its fall could also land the giant tree on top of two tiny Spruce, each no more that a few years old, just popping above the snow level. These trees are precious to us, and life is hard enough up here.
Bob felled the big tree just right, clearing the neighboring trees and missing by inches the baby Spruce that will grow in place of the old big one. The three of us worked together to clean up the branches, sorting some for a burn pile, others saved aside for craft projects.
Then Bob bucked the wood into lengths, and we found ourselves with three good sized logs. These will be the start of a new log wall for making that Little Cabin by the Big River just a little bit bigger.
So, now we can go back to building that foaling shed for Tres. And by the way, we’re building it on skidders, of course, so that after foaling season, we can drag it down to its permanent location near the Little Cabin by the Big River.
See how it all just comes together sometimes? Planning for the future, helping us live in the present, healing us of the past. In our sadness, we still have work to do, we have a new foal on the way. It may not be a cure, but it is an understanding, and then it all just becomes part of life, not good or bad, but just what it is, the way it has to be. All the piece to the puzzle fit together. And despite the areas of darkness and sharp edges, the puzzle before us shows us a picture of a very beautiful world.