Dead Horse

Braxton, the horse in the middle in the picture below, passed away this weekend.

It’s not mandatory to be blown about in the tempestuous seas of irony and synchronicity. We have a choice. It’s not required that we comment on every coincidental circumstance that somehow adds a deeper meaning to the tapestry of our lives. Sometimes it works just to ignore that shit until it goes away. But not always—like the Spanish Inquisition, nobody expects the Norman Conquest.

Old Braxton was maybe thirty when he died. His passing is a marker on my own journey. I’d known him for twenty years, and I wonder where that time has gone. When we first met, Braxton shared his pasture with goats. There are stories to tell about that mixed herd, but over the years the goats disappeared and Braxton remained, joined by a couple more horses. So he lost that reputation of being a gelding among goats.

The old fellow anchored the south side of our extended biosphere for twenty years or so. He was kind enough not to kick the dogs or step on my feet and he had the softest nuzzly muzzle imaginable when you offered him an apple. These last few years he spent a lot of time in his stall, but you never knew when you’d see him out under the full moon, or up with the sun cropping the dewy grass, or just feeling his oats on a wild run across the pasture.

When the weather was hot or the flies were bad, Braxton enjoyed rolling in the mud. What could be better than that? Braxton, this song’s for you…

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