Before you know it, you wake up and it’s Fall…
Did you hear that?
I think it’s the sound of my horses’ coats growing.
Whatever, I think to myself, this doesn’t really affect me. Sure, I love a slick, glossy short-haired summer coat. But hey, I can learn to deal with the fuzzy, insulated, teddy-bear stage for a bit. My horses live outside anyway and won’t be shown until next year.
Wait. We’ve got sale horses that need to be sale-ready in December.
That’s when instant panic sets in. “Nooooo!”
Preventative measures immediately kick my brain into overdrive. I need lights! On timers! Shavings! Stalls! And slinkys! Sheets! Blankets! Stat! How did this happen?
So I take a look around our place. Luke’s wearing his chaps again. Straw hats are converting to felts. My neighbor’s cows are lowing and stirring and bawling for their calves, freshly weaned.
Our red dirt, once swollen and sticky from summer storms, has turned to a fine powder that saunters and blows as our cattle meander to their mangers. Our bright, pliable oak leaves, once abundant and fresh, have curled and crisped and turned into brittle shells, ready to fall.
Feeling a bit ignorant (and admittedly, a little cheated), I realize that my world has transformed overnight. What the heck happened to summer? What is this darkness nonsense that forced me into the house at 7 pm? I need more daylight! There’s too much to do! This will never work!
Our horses—yes, the same ones that seemed so settled and seasoned this summer, have morphed into snorty, rampant versions of themselves. Every afternoon, before the feedwagon comes along, as the hazy sun dips low in the sky, they rumble and thunder around their pastures, kicking and whooping and celebrating as the warm Texas evenings slowly fade into brisk, dark nights. They feel so fresh, in fact, that I’ve even witnessed a couple of them pucker their flanks, wag their shaggy heads and let out a squeal of delight after they’ve been saddled. What could they possibly be so excited about? Kicking up their heels and such? Don’t they know this is the end of BBQ season?
But wait. With all the distraction of hearing those winter coats growing, I almost forgot about the most important and exciting sound of all—silence.
That’s right—that beautiful, blessed autumn silence. I’m talkin’ no more humming, bothersome, buzzing flies. How could I forget?! The end of summer means the end of winged pests!
Now there’s a reason to kick up my heels and celebrate. Hellooooo fall!