A 45-minute drive. Each mile seems longer as I draw closer to the right exit. Almost there.
Then I reach the gravel driveway – the homestretch. I’m almost there, my love!
He greets me with a soft nicker and I all but jog into the barn.
His nose hangs out of the stall and he nudges me knowingly toward the grain bin. I acquiesce.
The stall needs to be cleaned, the barn floor raked, the cobwebs swept, the waters filled, the weeds pulled, the shavings replenished, the hay sorted. Nothing registers as I kiss his soft nose and scratch his forehead.
Though the call of duty wins out and I amble through the chores, he is at my side, nudging, nipping and tossing his head. I’m not disillusioned – I know he simply wants more grain.
I do a half-hearted job in the cleaning, anything so I can get to what really matters.
I brush the week’s worth of dirt from his coat and untangle his mass of mane. He still demands more grain.
But this would be all there is time for. The responsibilities of life call and demand my attention. It isn’t fair. He’s angry as I prepare to leave. (He wants more grain.) I promise one day there will be more time.
“We have a truck that is perfect for towing now,” I tell him. “So you’ll have to get used to a trailer again, buddy…”
Perhaps there is a place I can board him closer to my house… Perhaps the summer will offer more hours for me to escape and see him…
Until the next weekend, this encounter will sustain me. A quick snapshot on my phone – as though I need the photographic proof to know he exists.
The life and the curse of living within city limits.
Until next week, Grunny.