5/05/19: How to Slow Time... 

Bryn-dog has decided to shed like there’s no tomorrow. Labradoodles aren’t supposed to shed buckets, but it seems that she excels in this, too. This week alone I’ve extracted great quantities of her white, downy fur. She happily sits on the walk, half-lidded, enjoying my ministrations. Every now and then she’ll give a soft groan of satisfaction.  
I love performing this long, leisurely service.  
It needs doing once daily, and now I can do it outside. Birds watch from trees as hair floats off, with most of it snatched back and stuffed into the hairnet that dangles from the dogwood tree as an open invitation. The hairnet keeps the soft, airy stuff from misting the garden with white, and it pleasures me to know that her soft down will pad their nests.  Sometimes, though, I’ll release wisps into the brisk wind so sparrows can swoop down to gather it in.  
There’s SO much!    

A few days ago I took her to the beach on a decently warm day and she suddenly exploded into a joyful, flat-out dash up and down its length while snatching small sticks from the golden sand to fling into the air as she raced along. Such exuberance!  It was her first visit there in ages. Ice, snow and icy winds over this long, awful winter had made such excursions impossible.  Now, these spring ecstasy fits are a joy to watch! 

Menesson, the stately stallion who’s helping me learn the finer points of riding, is shedding massive quantities, too. Like Bryn’s hair, it’s pure white. A few days ago, after quietly cleaning his big stall as he ate, I led him down the corridor to the cross-tie place and began grooming him prior to riding. I always love this time. 
Great quantities were snared with every swipe of the long, flexible blade. How could so much come away and he not go bald?  
Ha! There’s no danger of that happening!  
Every bit of his vast real estate needs attention, but no matter how meticulous I am, there’s always more.  
I took my time and he stood there quietly, enjoying the attention. Especially when I moved down his powerful legs. They are so very beautiful. I now know his happy places. Just above his hooves are the four best ones. Leg grooming paralyzes him. Not a whisker moves. Now he went half-lidded, like Bryn, and even his ears were quiet as I hummed almost inaudibly and brushed with long strokes from the top of his neck down to his hooves. Time can slow to a crawl, doing this... 

A few days ago, after we two worked hard for over an hour in the arena, I groomed him again before walking him back to his clean stall. Sunbeams streamed into the huge open barn doors right next to his roomy home. Ah, that warmth and light felt so good! I buckled his big coat on again, though- it was still only 49 degrees out there- and he resumed eating hay in his favorite corner.  
I wasn’t ready to leave just yet, as I love standing there quietly, breathing in this beautiful place in spring.  
Suddenly, he stopped chewing, turned to face the stall door, and walked two strides to me to bump my chest gently. I stroked his ears, moved one hand to his cheek and stood there, facing him.  
I went still.  
Then, something really special happened.   

Menesson went absolutely still, too. He stood there, nose just above my head for a very long moment, and then, his eyes blinked, fell to half-mast— 
and then, he was sound asleep.  
Just like that. 
Right there.   
With my raised hand still resting on the side of his face he breathed in and out so slowly, so faintly, standing ankle-deep in fresh hay with the sun’s fresh light enhancing minute dust motes that hung suspended, decorating the air ------ 
There we were, in the fog of a dream state  
I guessed later that this peaceful magic lasted for some five minutes, with Time seeming to slow way down, to pause... 
I was, in a word, spellbound.

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