It is always difficult to come back from the winter break when you are in education: student or teacher. Returning to routine, though, brings a sense of belonging, of familiar, in a way that can bring you back into your own body and remind you about what is real. Sometimes, that break feels like some other season, even just one day back into life.
I can remember lying in a hospital bed and feeling like I had no control over my body, like I was tethered to the mattress. It terrified me-a hollow, shaky, cold kind of fear.
I wanted nothing more than to sit up, to see the world upright again, to have rule over my coming and going. That is when routine can be so important and such a comfort.
The cold has been non-stop lately; the horses have spent several nights in the barn and the cattle bedded down in the corral. I love to feed in winter because it means starting my trusty MMZA tractor in the early morning and hooking up to the sled in order to get the hay to the pasture, with nothing much for company except the dawn and the setting moon. It’s such a lovely time of day.
I almost got stuck this morning as I had to take the hay wagon out instead of the sled. I spun the right tire on my tractor until we finally hit dirt and surged forward. The cattle were slow to come to me-it was a bit earlier then the winter break routine. The horses, however, were lined up at the feed bunk and seemed impatient for their oat hay. I love this morning routine in winter. My fingers are not as fond. By the time I’d finished, I’d had to ball my digits up in the center of my gloves and grit my teeth through the pain. If only they made gloves that would both keep your fingers warm and allow you the dexterity needed to do chores. Maybe next season…after all, we did put a man on the moon!