Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Flower in a Hail Storm

I didn't expect to feel what I was feeling. It was just the shock of seeing it one way for so long and then no more.

I went out later than usual to the barn to check Romeo and Sydney. We have been having hot and humid weather early in the season. What makes it tricky for horse owners is to keep their horses from blowing up on the too-rich grass and ending up with colic or laminitis. Since the flies and gnats are so bad we bring them in during the day. Romeo is more than happy to stand all day in front of the huge livestock fan we keep over his stall. He reminds me of a dog with his head out the window, catching a breeze. As I filled their buckets from the hose I glanced up at the many barn swallows nests we have in our tiny barn. I had counted up to fourteen when I took notice of the pasture outside the back entrance to the barn. It was smooth.

My uncle had finally found and fixed the leaking pipe that leads from the creek in to our pond in the center of the pasture. It is almost three years now that he made that mistake. He hit the pipe when he was trying to bury Gwen. He ended up moving her to bury in another spot in the pasture but the gaping hole where he originally started has been there for three years. Every couple months I would see my uncle out there messing around with PVC pipe and assorted farm machinery. The pond level never went down so we weren't even sure if it was actually ever feeding fresh water in to the pond. It just became one of those things where my aunt would be exasperated that my uncle couldn't decide if it should be repaired or not. So a long snake of a ditch began to form over the next couple years. It was surrounded in yellow tape so the horses wouldn't fall in. I started to imagine my uncle was secretly enjoying the thought of a moat surrounding the pasture. Then we wouldn't be doing constant fence repairs.
There I was, looking out and not quite comprehending what I was seeing. Just a smooth and flat area where the walls around the moat had been growing for three years. Apparently a coworker came out and resolved my uncle's pond dilemma.
Even though it has been three years this coming August, I can't believe how much it still hurts when I think about Gwen's last hours. Seeing the surrounding area finally put back in to place made me imagine the sound of a slamming coffin lid. I jumped a little at the thought and ended up hosing my shoes for a second. Desmond immediately came to my side and looked up at me. The funny thing was he didn't have that usual startled look that he has all the time. He just quietly looked up at me with full eye contact. I knew at that moment he had heard it through me. What an awesome dog.

I was coiling back up the hose when my aunt came in to the barn. I told her the pasture looks nice. We stood at the door with Desmond between us and watched the swallows dive bomb from the barn to the trees outside. Three of us standing and staring at the spot now smooth and bare.
"I told him," my aunt stated in her simple quiet way,"that if that asshole gets out of jail next week and sees that gaping hole he'll know he won."

I just stood there in silence. I don't know if that is really why my aunt finally snapped at my uncle to get the pipe fixed. Maybe she wanted me to know she is thinking the same thing I am. That in a matter of days there is that possibility that Prick will be released and will come revisit the spot that he tore my very soul out of me. So many things in life are beyond our control. I can't undo what has been done. I accept it but I will never comprehend how dark someone can be.
"I think I should get some wildflower seeds and plant them," I told my aunt, as I walked back in to the barn. At least I can take comfort in knowing that every time a flower blooms, a part of Gwen blooms with it.

Lyrics | Eels lyrics - Flower lyrics