I was out tonight in the "super" moon - what a beautiful, crisp pre-winter evening. Diamond stars in the sky, almost-crunchy grass underfoot, and a cozy warm barn to walk into for night turn-in. The "girls" were out back bathed in moonlight. Their deeper-than-darkness figures slowly made their way to the gate. Us humans don't have the best night vision and I had to almost look a little sideways to see them as they moved ever so quietly in the colorless depth of the night.
But that moon! They say it's the biggest and brightest moon that we've seen since 1948. As I walked around getting ready to bring the horses in, the moon seemed to be my personal spotlight, sending rays of pale moonlight ahead, behind and all around me. I could see my own shadow as I went to halter the horses.
I remember the first full moon shadow I ever had the pleasure of experiencing during a night ride - 26 years ago or so. Maybe it wasn't a super moon, but the glow it radiated sure was enough to fully light my way as I rode through the trails on my own beautiful horse, Kayla.
Wide bright eyes surely seeing more than any human can.
Knowingly stepping with confidence over the familiar trail
now bathed in a color-bleached blanket of light
from the super full summer moon.
Nighttime ambiance dampens the sounds around us save for rhythmical breathing
and occasional snort. Legs speeding up now, electricity radiating through her
body, Kayla says, "Let's go!"
I feel at once my insignificance and her power.
There is nothing to do save
give my seat, back and whole being -
to the little bay mare who now wants to canter in the open field.
The shadow stalks us ever faster.
In this visually limited space,
everything is amplified:
- the clippety canter clop of the hooves
- the quiet of the earth,
- the speed
- and resulting breeze.
The sway of Kayla's canter strides,
the landing on the hardened mid-summer earth,
the breeze meeting my face thanks to Kayla's determined efforts.
Time stands still until I realize I must breathe.
Honestly, the moon, the shadow that flittered over the earth as we rode along, and Kayla's love for movement was something that's been etched in my memory ever since. Thanks to Kayla, I learned that I would never be afraid of riding in the dark, especially when there was a moon to light our way. This first ride paved the way for many more such moonlit rides. In fact, for some years, I looked ahead on the calendar to figure out when the moon was going to be out so I could plan my night rides. Have you ever done that?
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