The ground is firm as I place a plastic bag down to sit on. Ebony stands with a hoof cocked, her eyes half-closed and glazed from the brushing. The donkeys look at me suspiciously; they’ve never seen a plastic bag before.
I take my seat, feeling the sun beating down and the wind caressing my face and arms. It takes the edge off the sun’s rays, leaving a pleasant, refreshing, breezy warmth. The donkeys circle around me. I hold very still, and they take turns hesitantly approaching a little closer, first her, then him, then her, until she can sniff my boot and reassure herself I’m not the boogeyman. Ebony takes a step over, and I grin in spite of myself as I reach up to tease her chin and lip. She picks her head up and turns to stand beside me, her hoof cocking once more and her head lowering in relaxation.
I follow her lead and stretch out, lacing my fingers to make a pillow and closing my eyes as I lie back. The ground isn’t as wet as I’d expected; it’s firm without being painful. I hear the sound of cicadas trilling. Why are they trilling in the middle of the day? It doesn’t matter.
I hear the sound of a jet flying high overhead. I open my eyes through my sunglasses to see it gliding by. I sigh, smile, and close my eyes again.
Ebony swishes her tail, and I hear a fly buzz by. Quiet again.
Trilling cicadas, the sound of a diesel pickup in the distance. It gets closer, hisses by, and then is naught but a fading rustle. So very peaceful.
Another jet, quieter. I open my eyes, but there’s nothing to see except the deep, blue sky.
The donkeys are quiet and still. Ebony is quiet and still. I look at her head through my sunglasses: it’s like she’s quietly keeping a protective eye on me. Ebony, my adoptive horse-mother, keeping an eye on her strange, two-legged foal. It makes me smile as I close my eyes again.
The breeze cools my warming face, rustles the grass, and tickles the hair on my arms. It smells fresh and clean, without a hint of any kind of odor or fragrance.
I feel so relaxed.