The Antidote to Keyboard Life

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There's something about the first weeks of spring that drives people--horse people, at least--away from desks and out into the freshening outdoors. I notice this in the flow of my reader mail, which always drops off from multiple missives per day, to almost nil this time of year. I notice it in myself, too. When I get spare moments, I'd rather be outside, currying a broodmare, digging in my compost pile, touching up the barn's paint, or just listening to birds chirp, than be tapping out articles, blog entries, or e-mails on my computer keyboard.

Take last week, for instance. I gave Chanel, my yearling filly, her first serious trip to the equine beauty parlor. I rode Riley, my 4-year-old gelding, and supervised a reset of his shoes. I lavished grooming time on Gussie, whose next foal is due in a couple of weeks. I pulled enough hair off 28-year-old Tank to line every bird nest in the county. I burned some of last year's garden debris, and cut the grass for the first time this season. I reseeded parts of the pasture. I threatened to clog the washing machine, as happens every year at this time, by laundering too many winter-filthy horse blankets. I lingered outside until after each day's sunset, making lists of the spring-work chores I could think of to do the next day.

I had some fleeting guilty thoughts about my blogging absence. But I assauged them by figuring that you probably were outside, too, soaking up the real world in favor of the one available to us by computer screen.