Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Words For Mountains

There should be a word in the English language to describe the series of quick events I am about to describe. Some kind of fluent, beautiful, but intense word with connotation of risk and awe. That is what I was thinking as Merlin finished his loping gallop to the top of a mountain hillside, quickly stopped to a fast walk and with barely a flick of my wrist and turn of my head towards the vista before us, pivoted on his back feet to show me my world. It happens fast, the run, the thought, the motion and the turn and the end result is this surge of endorphins and wildness. You feel not like a rider, and not like a horse, but as if you somehow managed to become a part of the weather. You're a force as natural and strong as fast-moving air and thunder. This desire to shout with joy or hug his thick black neck overcame me. I was euphoric up there on the bald earth over looking the purple mountains yawning for snow on their arched backs. He stomped his front feet in place, wanting to continue on but I held him as I closed my eyes in a short prayer of thanks.

I sat there for some time under the cold sky. I tried to will some snowflakes down to the earth but my effort was in vain. You can't rush Mother Nature. She works on her own time. And after all, I'm just one of her many guests enjoying my extended stay. Merlin is too, and as partners we turned back towards the trail and into the woods.

We continued the mountain ride at an easy walk. He was blowing a little, a tad out of shape from the last few weeks of sparse riding since Antlerstock. I had less time in the saddle and decided yesterday and today that the cold was no reason to leave him in his paddock. So yesterday we rode along the mountain road, and today we hit the mountain trails at Tucker's place. Merlin was a gentlemen today, responsive and quick. I was min good spirits, too. I was singing in Gaelic to him, chorus and verse of a song I am learning, and this (along with a loud, orange scarf) was our notice to any deer hunters that we were not, in fact, cervine.

The day was getting colder, as if somehow the closer we got to noon the more it wanted to snow. I was warm on top of the black mountain pony, in layers of flannel and a sturdy, wool-lined, English waxed cotton jacket a reader mailed me from when she lived in England. It fits me as if it was made for me and I felt like an character from some myth on that horse in my wax jacket with shoulder cape for the rain. The rest of my clothes were pretty standard: knit gray hat, cowboy paddock boots, jeans. But that jacket on that pony made me feel like a character from the Gunslinger and The Hobbit combined into one Washington County cocktail...

We returned from the mountain sweaty and starting to feel the chill come back to us from the lack of motion and concentration. I curried his back and put away the tack and returned him to his boyfriend Jasper so I could check on the fire and get back to the writing I was doing between outdoor activity. I had a piece due to HandPicked Nation about Barnheart to finish and deliver. I had my day of snow posts to share (I love this, by the way), and some work on other literary adventures I can't really talk much about now, but folks, there is momentum back in this creative life! I don't have any contracts or new books yet but I am confident I'll be writing more than the four books I have. If Barnheart is my disease of the soul, then writing is my number one therapy treatment.

My afternoon from there on wasn't nearly as exciting as stalking deer and pony mountain stances. I mailed packages at the post office, did some light errands in town. Alli, from Saratoga stopped by to pick up a tent she leant me for Antlerstock, and she brought a pint of beer as a gift and I thanked her. (In hindsight, I feel bad I didn't invite her in for tea but I was out walking the dogs when she arrived and we talked outside the house. Sorry, hun.) But yes, I walked Jazz, Annie and Gibson a half mile and watched Jazz power through it, though I could tell the half-mile was a bit much for his hips. And now I have more writing, and some housework, and bread in the oven waiting to come out and cool. Tonight I have dinner with friends and more farm chores and I plan on popping in a few more times before the storm! So keep reading!


Blogger jenomnibus said...

"purple mountains yawning for snow on their arched backs"

What a great, illustrative description! I keep reading it over and over - it really evokes the feeling you describe in the paragraph.

November 7, 2012 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Beautiful writing. Stay warm.

November 7, 2012 at 5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved this post, Jenna! I wish there were just that word you've described, because I've felt it too. Maybe we should make one up!

November 7, 2012 at 9:27 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Black said...

What song are you learning? I think you and I started learning Gaelic at the same time (Scottish gaelic?).

The feelings you describe are things we've all felt, right? I think it's the best kind of gift to share them. Thanks for it.

November 8, 2012 at 8:53 AM  
Blogger bree said...

Lovely day Jenna and lovely writing. I can smell the bread as it bakes. I'm happy for you that you have so many projects in the works! Way to go.

November 8, 2012 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I'm learning S'Morag - free online with the BCC's tutorial series. It's great because its all audio too, so you can hear exactly as it should sound

thanks all for the kind words

November 8, 2012 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger Trish said...

Beautiful and I look forward to future books!

November 8, 2012 at 11:34 AM  

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