As most horse people know, winter can be hard. It's dark, cold, and can be a mix of snow, frozen mud, non frozen mud, and ice slick enough to sit you right down. But hey, no bugs! Joyful time of year really.
In the past I learned that if you're layered correctly and you just focus on the tasks at hand, it's really not so bad. It's still not a favorite of mine though. Recently, however, I've come to find a new peace with this winter weather in an unusual way.
The sun sets so terribly early this time of year and because of this I've found myself tucking the critters into bed in the dark. We only have electric set up in Moon and Thursday's barn as it would pose a large fire hazard to bring it to the other barn. To help with that, Nina had set out a handful of solar powered lights that come on for a couple hours after dark. They're not terribly bright, but it's enough to see the walk ways. Now while I could easily carry a flashlight or headlamp, I don't want to startle the horses with it or accidently flash them in the eyes. But more so than that, I've realized I can see just fine in the dark with the little bits of light around. It's actually enough for me to do everything I need to do, so why bother with another light?
And so, as I've been turning them all in at night in the dark, I've discovered just how peaceful it is. Everything is so quiet (which, where we're already in a quiet spot, that says something) and soft. The air may be cold, but I don't find myself noticing it as I move about. Instead I'm noticing how gently the ground crunches under my feet, the soft shifting of the hay as the horses munch, and recently an owl friend who likes to watch as I work. The trees look so beautiful against the night sky as well. I see them and think about the times Nina and I talked about how pretty trees look in winter and I find myself smiling. Some nights, I can even see the stars shining between the tree branches.
While I will be happy to embrace longer days and warmer weather, I have come to enjoy each moment of the little bit of peace I've found in the winter evenings.