We have supper at 11 pm. Quick. Whip something up. We need to sleep so we can wake and do it again.
I like every inch of this time of year, but I like the witching hour best, the time right before sunset when everything on earth is bathed in a golden light and the creek bottoms cool and the clover smells fresh and crisp and like every childhood ride I’ve ever taken.
Last night I rushed home from meetings in town to meet up with Husband to push some bulls and a few cows through the gate to the west. I ran inside and switched from my sandals and fancy shirt to boots and jeans and jumped in the old green pickup and on down to the barn. I rearranged the tack room and swept away dust while I waited for him and the horses to come down.
It would be a quick and easy ride, the cattle right by the gate. We saddled up and admired our animal’s sleek backs. They’re summering well, we said. Fat and sassy, full of gas.
We swung on and out of the barnyard and pushed those cows with their new boyfriends toward the creek. And they went well and so did our two bays and when they were through that gate we decided to keep going ourselves, to check the dam on the other side of the pasture. To just ride a bit and be out in it.
To make sure all the other cows were in between the fence lines.
I wish you could have seen it, the way the green looked neon and the purple flowers popped from the earth in the bask of the 9:30 sun sink. On a different Wednesday evening I might have brought my camera, but I left the house on a deadline and, sometimes it’s nice to just be there without the burden of trying to capture it the way I see it, because sometimes it just isn’t possible.
And sometimes it’s nice to just talk about nothing really and ride along.
Sometimes it’s nice to just say, “What a night! What a night!” and believe it between the two of you.
We made our way to the dam, spotting a hawk and a coyote and a couple deer along the way. Oh, and some cows. There were cows too.
Good thing there were cows.
And then the sun that was kissing the top of my husband’s hat, filtering through his too-long hair, making him look like a western movie poster, sunk down over the horizon, chilled my skin and turned our stroll into a trot, back across the new spring on the hill, down through the valley where the plums grow in the fall, up along the deep trails, across the flat, to the creek and through the gate we left open.
Feeling proud of our accomplishments and hungry for our 10 pm supper, we popped up over the hill that would take us to the pink road, past the grain bins and down to the barnyard.
But not before we came upon the cows and their boyfriends, the same ones we just pushed through that gate, munching and strolling exactly where we found them an hour or so before.
“Cows” I exclaimed as if my husband didn’t have eyes.
“Yup,” he replied in typical Husband fashion. And then, “Shoulda probably shut that gate…”
But if there ever was a night to do a chore like that twice, it was that night. Because in the golden hour or in the dark, we would rather be out there than anywhere…
And anyway, tacos taste best at 11 pm.