I step out the back door into the pleasant air of morning. A dark blue edge shows in the sky, high and to the east, tracing the form of the passing storm front. The horses look up from the low edge of the paddock. They swing around and head toward me, heads bobbing in fast walk.
I carry the feed bucket toward the trough, pausing to shut off the fence charger before I slip through between the wires that keep the horses away from the dangers beyond.
They have lost the heavy scruff of their winter coats now. Even in the soft light of clouded morning, their hair shines with the buff of spring. They swing around, hooves hard against the soft ground, eager for feed. I watch carefully as I step between them, wary of any contention regarding which end of the trough either of them might choose to defend. Their ears hold forward, signaling a lack of threat to one another or any beneficent bystander.
As soon as the feed spills from the bucket, the chocolate Rocky starts in, taking a mouthful at a time. The black Walker waits for a moment, moves in beside him. I tap out the last bit of feed, bunched in the bottom of the bucket.
Beyond them, the grass lies wet and heavy, flush with rain and spring. The trees rise beyond the fence, the hills beyond them. All is green with hope and promise, all continuing the cycle of seasons. New corn sprouts and rises in fields tilled in trust, labor expectant of harvest.
I turn toward the house, walking on damp gravel, ready for the work of my day, believing that the Lord of Harvest will bless its yield.