Change can sometimes be a really good thing, but some changes I can live without. Like those changes when you lose a loved one. The kind of change that creates a raw, gaping hole in your heart and a white space where they would have been in the slideshow of your everyday life. The frame that’s now empty where my best equine friend of 31 years used to appear. The frame that became empty on Saturday.
Now, when I go up to the barn there is the empty hole that was his stall, cleaned out of shavings and hay, empty feed bucket turned over. The stall door stands open like it always did even when he was in there. He was allowed to roam around the barn at will, eating grass in the yard or more often than not, standing in the hay stall to be close to his buddies. Maybe it’s still open because neither of us wants to see the name plaque on his door or maybe it’s because if we latch the door shut tight it will feel even more like he’s not going to walk through it again. His winter blanket still hangs on the rack, waiting for colder weather. His halter hanging on a hook nearby waits for his return.
I go up and feed our other two horses. When we had five horses at the farm it was too many, three was just perfect, and now two seems one too few. The grain bin doesn’t empty as fast and the time it takes to get all the chores done seems so quick. Looking out in the pasture and just seeing two horses makes the pasture seem empty. Empty is the word of the week.
As this hot Georgia summer burns on, I will not have to worry about how the heat will affect my old horse. For I’ll know he is out in the pasture, cool under the big shade tree …forever young, forever beautiful, and forever in my heart. But for now, it just seems empty.