I went to water the neighbor's horses this evening. Two, a silver mare -large, proud - and a Bay, skittish, cautious, held-back. I work the pump, letting the cool water fill their stock tank on this hot, windy day on the Kansas prairie and walk over to check the plants. Dry as dust, though their pots were overflowing yesterday; moisture no competition for July's furnace blast. I carry the bucket to the pump by the barn, a weathered building I would love to explore more fully. The shingled roof is peeling like a bad sunburn, boards loose and squeaky. A loop of barbed wire hangs on its side, a perfect circle against the parallel of rectangles.
The bucket full, I carry it to the porch. A lone geranium, daylilies, potted cactus and aloe vera....a mum, desperately clinging to life in the midst of shriveled stems. Smoke billows in the distance, an unwise burn on a day too windy.
The mamma cat and her two velvet babies are gone, most likely seeking a cool respite. There is no sound except for the wind that blows across Cottonwood tops and whistles through vacant windows. The cattle are in the pasture on the hill...and in the pond. They have no timetable, no calendar to tell them that there will be another few weeks of this.
It is all so perfect in its imperfection and I savor the stillness before I grind the truck to a start. I switch off the radio, its noise foreign and unwelcome to this moment. Titan and Ellie are down the hill, their colt nearby and I roll down the windows and let the wind carry me down the road. Home is near....and its time to fix supper.