Calmness

My desktop at work is this picture, posted to the Friends of Windfields Farm Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/WindfieldsFarm?ref=ts&fref=ts):

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This is a recent picture of Barn 2 at the famous Windfields Farm, which is currently, finally, and belatedly being taken care of with new roofs, lighting, security systems and hopefully a cleaning crew. I missed going to the auction, part of me thankful because I would have been a blubbery mess, but also sad, as I could have brought home a memento of this beautiful farm, and touchstone of my past.

This barn in the picture was, for the most part, the training barn. I was based out of barn 3 (further down the road), but loved this barn, and spent many, many hours in here. Riding through on cold days to reach the arena, backing babies in the stalls, sweeping the floor again and again, cleaning tack, sitting on an upturned bucket just outside the barn office, warming my aching muscles and bones with the summer sun.

The one feeling I get when I think of this barn is calmness. When the dust motes were lazily floating through the sunbeams that filtered in past the windows, when the stalls were clean and the hay stacks neat as a pin, I remember the quiet. I can recall the solitude of the tall ceilings, the solidness of the walls and doors, the reverence of the building itself.

I may have only worked there a short time, but even today, when I see pictures of the inside of this barn, I am immediately transported back to hearing the clip-clop of hooves, the metal slam of door latches, the squeaky trundle of the feed cart. I feel calmness steal into my nerves, and I can breathe just a bit deeper.

A picture of other aisle of the barn: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cat_starr/4411480436/in/set-72157629141010680/lightbox/ – Can’t you hear the echo, don’t you want to step through the sunspots?

A full set can be seen here, with pictures of the other barns, some of the grounds: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cat_starr/sets/72157623574374262/with/4411480436/

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2 thoughts on “Calmness

  1. A beautiful picture and a beautiful feeling to have… though is it really wrong that I look at that picture and immediately think this building is MISSING something… large, magestic, strong beasts who MAKE the clopping sounds of hoofs on the concrete (which, although I have never been to this particular barn; I remember so well from many MANY hours in “the barn”). It is a bit sad that such a beautiful place is not being used for its purpose.

  2. I also had the opportunity to work at Winfields back in the early 80’s and it was by far the best summer job I had ever had. I remember this barn housing the yearlings and when we went out to their paddocks early every morning we had to bring lead shanks with chains – they were so energetic and playful! I mainly worked in the mare barns with Maura from Ireland and we used to just laugh and laugh! We worked hard but there was such a great atmosphere at Windfields that we all got along so well! It’s very sad to see these photos. And to see the empty stalls…

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