My boots slide just a bit on the slight slope going down toward the barn. Heavy frost on walk-worn fescue doesn’t make for great traction but since I’m not packing anything heavy or trying to push a wheelbarrow load of gravel I make it just fine. The air has the clear crisp you expect from thirteen degrees below freezing.
Inside the shed, the geldings stand, waiting somewhat patiently as I add sweet feed to the softened beet pulp in the mixing bucket and stir. I move them back and shake the mix out into their feed buckets fastened to the wall. As soon as I lift my bucket, they shove their noses in and begin feeding.
I leave them and walk back toward the house, mindful of my footing but pausing briefly to look at the stars, still clear in the western sky. To the east, just above the ridge that runs through Wathena, the last edge of three days’ of clouds forms a thin slate bed. Above that, a dull red lightens into pink, gives way to a pale hint of blue that stretches up and meets the passing darkness of night rising into day.
There are worse ways to start a morning than to feel such peace forming within you, reminding you that there is a vastly greater Power in the universe.