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April 16, 2012: Mare Watch

I got up last night at my appointed time – 4 a.m., to check on Signy. (Pete had gotten up at 2 a.m. and was going to get up at 6 a.m., and do his checks.) On my way down to the foaling stall, I thought, I hope this doesn’t happen tonight. The initial reason was that I was half-awake, and therefore I would find it difficult to shift into high gear.

Plus, night time sometimes has an ominous feel about it. Don’t want to have to deal with things going wrong when it’s dark.

Plus, a birth at this time would (for me) be a disruption of routine. The carefully arranged day’s plans would have to be rearranged. I generally figure out what I’m to do the following day right before falling asleep. Tomorrow, I’d tend to horses, write, tend to goats, write, tend to horses, write, work on class stuff,

Signy's Udder
Signy's Udder

write, go to the church and re-take photos, and go to photography class.

Then I got to thinking – wait – there isn’t going to be a better time for this birth. The horse pens are looking good – the ice and snow have melted down considerably. And the bulk of the semester’s work is now behind both Pete and me.

So why was I filled with a sense of foreboding? It’s this: humans and animals are all creatures of routine. Some (like me) enjoy change, but few actually embrace it. All we do revolves around eating, sleeping, sex. Keeping warm and dry also figures into the survival-related equation. These are things you always have to be thinking about, even when traveling.

These were lofty thoughts for 2 a.m., but not out of character for me. I spend a lot of time thinking about time—its importance, and how I manage it. Bottom line is this (as I’ve said before) time is elastic. When something pressing happens, we deal. And, indeed, no matter what, life goes on.

There’s our routine, and also that of Signy and Hrimfari to consider. She will have to contend with going from being his taxi service to his delicatessen. As for him --

he seems to be enjoying being where he is. His little apartment must not be too cramped, otherwise he’d move out. And he doesn’t have to pay rent or utilities. However, there will come a day in which the digs are too small, and he’ll have to move elsewhere. We’ll then all deal, for change is a constant.

Dunk washcloth in warm water,
press firmly against udder of mare
who is quietly eating. Note—
left side is more swollen than right.
Put head to flank, feel a sharp kick,
Fall back on heels.
Time, as it should, stops
and in the space between thoughts
I connect with this being,
pregnant to possibilities inherent
to a change in routine:
mare carries foal
gives birth
foal rises, nurses. The steps in between
extraneous, but important as
it becomes I.

Next: 130. 4/17/12: My Readership