It’s hard to pick just one place to name as the one and only favourite place. I have many that I enjoy – each for its own reason. But, for today, my favourite place was my barn.
No matter what else was going on in my life, how chaotic my schedule had become, those thrice-daily trips across the yard to the barn were my link to all things normal.
As soon as you opened the door you would be overwhelmed by the sweet smell of new hay recently stacked and waiting to feed a hungry horse all winter. Then there was the woody smell of the bedding that I kept fresh and clean with each visit. At feeding time I’d open the grain bin and yet another scent assaulted my senses as my fingers scooped through the smooth, green pellets.
Once the hay had been delivered and the grain poured into the feed tub, Beau would come in from the pasture and bury his nose in it, groaning with a visceral pleasure at the scent and feel of his meal. While he ate I would stroke his thick black hair coat or run my fingers through his mane – picking out bits of grass or the odd knot that might have formed during his day roaming the pasture in search of succulent slivers of grass. A picky eater, he only selected the very best green shoots for his snacks, leaving the woody stems of less palatible grass for the geese who visited regularly.
At the end of each day, after he’d eaten, I’d feed him bits of sweet apple – cut into small pieces so it would take longer to eat and we’d spend a few more precious and private moments together.
Circumstances have changed now and I no longer own a horse. Beau is living in a friend’s stable and is well looked after. But, we no longer share those special moments alone in the quiet of my tiny barn just a few steps beyond the back door where the world is always just right.