You awaken to a world pressing in on you for attention. Your mind speeds ahead before your bare feet even touch the floor. But for him, you would dive back under the covers.
Turning down the dusty driveway, you pull up to the red, shed-row barn where he stands in his paddock under the shade of a tall Eucalyptus tree, his long neck low and relaxed as he drinks deeply from his water trough. You step from the car and before you can make a sound his head rises, quickly turns in your direction, ears alert to your presence.
“How’s my handsome boy today?”
His nostrils flare open and shut at the sound of your voice and he moves towards the door to his stall, his muscles rippling beneath a gleaming coat the rich color of dark cocoa beans.
Standing nearly 65 inches at the withers, your own slight, five-foot frame is not even tall enough for you to see over his long back. Yet every day, in trust and faith, you climb onto that back always marveling that he will permit you do so.
He sticks his head out the top of his stall door, watching you approach. You kiss the soft spot at the front of his nose and breathe lightly into his nostrils, mingling his breath with your own and your heart swells with love.
Nuzzling your pockets, he nickers softly, seeking the treat he knows you have brought him; a carrot, half an apple, or maybe a cube of sugar. He gobbles it down and greedily nudges you for more as you reach up to slip the halter over his massive head. You fasten the buckle, then run your hand down the side of his neck, as soft and slick as satin, give him a pat, and lead him from the stall.
Outside the barn gate your world continues with all its demands, but for now you are in his world.
What's your sanity maintenance?