I was already in bed reading when I heard the clomp and rumble of the horse and carriage go by. I didn’t bother to look out my window, it was already dark out. Instead, I lowered my book, turned out the light, and let the sound take me back to a time when the house had no electricity and there would have been a horse and carriage in our own barn for the night.
The road wouldn’t have been paved, of course, so the sound would have been different. But I thought more of how the quiet would have been interrupted. Maybe I would even have known who was passing by and where they were going.
I remember the story we read in Florence Walwraths memoir. She lived in our house for 80 years and died there at the age of 104. She wrote about a blizzard that her parents rode through on their way home from the train one night. She credited the horse in getting them through it safely.
Florence wrote that, unlike the other horses which they put down when they got too old to work, they let this horse live out her life in the pasture.
Now there’s a lot more noise when a carriage passes by the farm, including cars and trucks and the dogs barking. I imagine we’ll get so used to seeing our neighbors drive by that at some point they’ll pass without us stopping to watch. The same way I no longer stare up at the sky every time the Canada Geese fly over in the spring and fall.
But like being able to look past the mountains in the distance and let the eye travel without stopping, I know this will have an effect on my everyday life. I’m not sure how yet, but it’s already rocking my world a bit.