Last weekend, I cleaned out our old barn. We have two on our property, a new one that's finally had the horses moved into, and a freshly painted old one. Why painted, you ask? Why not just tear it down?
There are a lot of memories in that barn. Our first colt was born in there. My sister rode her horse for the first time out of those big double doors. It's where I went to study for tests, sitting with my back to Rusty's stall door, asking him for help with Geography.
Rusty was a horse, so he wasn't the most helpful guy, but he was at least very enthusiastic about it.
So I thought about tearing it down but decided to leave that for the next generation. Instead, we gutted a few of the stalls and built a bonfire outside. There's a stereo system built in; you might remember me posting about this before, even. We hooked up some special lights, the really dazzling ones. Put together a playlist, even made up of some songs I've posted about beforehand as well.
And invited some friends over. I'd like to say we spent most of the time in the barn, getting our boots dirty while dancing on the newly padded out floor, but in reality, we stayed in the barn for a good hour before making our way out to the horses. Those are where the real memories are, inside of the ones we make them with as well as the place that houses them.
Aside from that night, I'll share one of my favorite memories: it was dawn, and I couldn't sleep. I'd gone to bed, but in the middle of the night I'd gotten up to do some reading, and when I couldn't read, I went to write. But I found myself gazing outside almost the entire time, watching Rusty's tail swishing from the side of that old barn.
I couldn't see anything else. Just the tail. And it was comforting in a way I could never describe, but I'll try my best to. Like all of my worries were brushed away with each swish. And then I woke up, with my cheek plastered to my desk and ink smeared on my nose. I couldn't tell you why it's such a fond memory I have, except that it is. The next morning, I went out to say hello to Rusty. And he was there to say hello back.
I took a picture. That picture is now hanging on the inside of that barn, and will be there until our next generation finds a better place for those horse memories.
Photo by Marcy Leigh.