Saturday, March 10, 2012

Daylight Saddle Time

Spring forward.  Even as a damp and chilly day persists where we are, tonight is the night we leap into a fresh, new phase, surrendering an hour of sleep so that we can enjoy a season of extended evening light. 

Around our house, that means increased time with horses, extra moments to spend with friends at the barn, and a general sense that the rhythm of life as we like it best has awakened from hibernation.  Daylight Saddle Time.

It is a time of year when work around the house gets put off (more readily than normal) and time at the barn is relished.  Occasionally, after lessons and barn chores, a tailgate picnic – fried chicken or pizza or sausage and cheese – allows for bonus time out where the horses live.  On those evenings, the sun will drop below the horizon and there will still be enough of a chill in the air that no one is particularly eager to leave for the comforts of home. 

From my perspective, these times are best enjoyed with the assistance of a couple of things: a good lawn chair and a sharpened sense of observation.  Take note of the interaction between kids and animals.  Enjoy the magnificent dance of the sky – the early spring choreography of Jupiter and Venus.  Pay attention to the sounds and the aromas. 

In his masterful book, From a Limestone Ledge, in a chapter titled Noticing, John Graves writes “… in surroundings that you care for and have chosen, you use eyes, ears, nose, taste buds and whatever other aids you can muster for reception.  You notice.  And in noticing, you live.”


  1. John Graves forgot one thing: camera. Preferably with video.
    PS: any chance you would turn off word verification?

  2. I've got that Graves book, but don't recall this particular chapter ... so many thanks for sharing it. I agree with you and him, and have just such surroundings that I use in the same way, especially as I get old enough to recognize and appreciate it!.

  3. OK, another tear jerker. I will have to get the John Graves book now because I think that, so often, adults forget to just observe and enjoy what is happening around them. At this time of year, I especially like to smell the Texas Mountain Laurel, check for the first bluebonnets along the highway, and watch for the arrival of the first hummingbirds. Kim