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I’m back.

I have lots of things to say, but at the moment all of them pale against the sadness my family is feeling. Those of you who have been reading here for a while may remember that my children and I have been caring for a friend’s elderly horses.

Both horses had to be put down while we were away.

Diamond was a cantankerous old man of a horse. He liked to search my pockets for apples and push his way into any conversation. Chilena was quiet. She loved to have her belly scratched, and got nervous every time a bicycle passed their paddock.

Animals force us to be present in life in ways that bypass all of our resistance. My family is so much richer for the time we spent with Diamond and Chilena, but at the moment that gratitude is deeply mixed with grief.

Endings

This summer my children started a project. Several times a week they groom three horses at a friend’s barn. Old horses, retirees, with stiff joints and shaggy coats and worn teeth. We bite little pieces of apple for them to chew on, and scratch all those hard to reach places that plague them, and accept their horse hugs.

Three horses, until this weekend. Now there are only two.

Sweet dreams, Sir Galahad. You were loved and will be missed.

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