The emergence of the sunrise is only beginning to show. My husband takes the tea kettle from the wood stove and pours hot water into his waiting mug for tea and says, 'I think the neighbors may have put down a horse last night.' My eyes widen, and instantly my hearts drops to sorrow. I ask him why he thinks that, as I quickly walk to the window to see if I can manage any sight through the sparse daylight.
My thoughts return back to last night. I remember seeing the lights on at their barn. The lights are never on past dark, unless they have returned late from a horse show, or if they are expecting a mare to foal, or the dreaded-- a sick horse. I imagined last night, that when the daylight arrived, we would be seeing a frolicking foal in the pasture, as we have in the previous years, and I offered a prayer.
My husband continued, 'I just happen to look outside late last night, about 11:30 pm, and saw a couple lights in their pasture (like two people were out there with flashlights), and this morning, there are no lights on over at their place' (these neighbors are up before dawn daily). The words he spoke made my mind run with questions. Through the dim light I notice a mound, but can't distinguish what it actually is. (sometimes I have seen a mound, and it is nothing more than brush that has been dumped in a burn pile) I get the binoculars and look again. I can see the silhouette. Tears fill my eyes and I try to fight them back. A vivid rush of memories flood back into my mind. I can feel the same painful emotions I went through four years ago. I did not realize the feelings were still so fresh.
The morning light brings a sky that is peeking blue with streams of sunshine spilling out behind the clouds. On the cold frosty ground, lies a spiritless horse. Stillness surrounds him. No one is there. The humans that had cared for his every need, have retreated to find comfort, for the sorrow that now covers them. Hearts broken. A day in which words will be spoken about memories.
Later on, as daylight begins to draw to an end, the cold winter air has begun to settle in again. The ending to this day brings uneasiness that repeats itself through my body. I feel restless. Across the way, I glance over. I notice a young girl sitting at the edge of the fresh grave. Head low. Hood pulled over head, no face in sight. Tears. Remembrance. Out at the edge of the nearby paddock, stands another mourning heart. The pasture mate, whose sorrowful call is telling us of a missing friend. On this day, the sorrow is felt wide. Across the field, this silent watcher sends out a prayer.
A large and liquid eye...the swirl of dust around pounding hooves...these, then, are the images that move us.