“In the depth of winter I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

~ Albert Camus


It seems that in times of joy and times of grief I always have something to learn from our two old horses.

If you recall, a month ago, on April Fool’s Day, a tremendous wind blew down the shed that provided shelter for the pasture horses. This was Pepper and Chickadee’s favorite hangout. They hunkered down against wind and snow inside that shed. They took a break from the glaring sun in that shed. It was their shelter. Their home base. And now it’s gone. There’s nothing left. Even the boards have been carried away and used for another project.


What’s interesting to me is that the horses don’t look back.

They don’t hang around the location of the shed, grieving. Wishing it were different. Wishing it was still there for them, though I imagine they do miss it. April has brought us snowy days and horrific winds–times when a cozy shelter would be a welcome relief. Instead of mourning what was, they have made do with what is. They find shelter of sorts in the trees when the wind howls through the pasture. (And take it from me, it really does HOWL out there.) They stand butts to the wind and endure, make do, get by. And somehow they know the wind won’t blow forever; the snow will give way to warm spring days and long green grass. Perhaps that consoles them, or gives them strength to carry on despite their loss.



In April a terrible wind blew through my life, taking my dear older sister from this earth.

In so many ways she was my home base, my shelter. She had been the matriarch of our family since our mother died almost a quarter of a century ago. She was the person left from our family who had known me since my birth, and somehow that matters to me. It helped place me in my life–as if I might become invisible without her knowledge of me. She was my sister, teacher, mother-figure, mentor and most of all she was my great friend. I miss her terribly.

I fear I am not as strong as the horses because I still yearn to go back to my shelter. I want a different ending to this story, yet I know that cannot happen.

So like our horses, I will make do; put my back to the frigid wind and wait for the warmth of summer.


Rest in peace, Judy.