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A full moon on a snowing field.  When you can see your shadow and the air is so quiet.  The night is enchanting.

You can imagine you are anywhere.  A wolf in the forest or an urban artist strolling down a festive street.

I can’t imagine living somewhere with no winter – never experiencing the cold, peaceful nights.

There is full moon tonight and the air is crisp, but no snow flies.  My horse, Shadow, walks – in the moonlight you can see the steam rising off his neck.  We are walking home after bringing a jailbreak calf home to the pasture.

The cattle are back on the ranch after a summer on the range.  But some of the younger ones don’t like their new captivity.  The old cows are happy to lie in groups, happy not to spend the days wandering through woods.  They know winter is coming.  I wonder if they like the snowy, full moon nights.

I used to spend cold nights in the living room.  Living winter through the windows, with awesome hair and festive parties drowning out the silence outside.

My boyfriend laughed over beers.  I watched tv and curled my toes.  The drama of life was all gossip and career posturing.

I reveled in the success of urban life.  The buildings I owned in the city centre breathed they were  so vibrant.

And then I saw him.  The same guy who was always there, he was missing a leg, wore dark dirty clothes and matted hair.  I saw him everyday, but today was different.

I asked him the question I have always want to ask every person who doesn’t appear delighted with life: if I could give you whatever you need to get a start, to get you out of this cycle of failure, what would you do?  Would you be able to stay there?  Would you be able to turn your back forever on the things that drags you down?

And he started to cry and asked if I would buy him a coffee.  It started to snow, but the full moon still peered out from the behind some clouds.

He said no.  He had been successful before and been homeless before.  It is hard to fix what wrong inside yourself.

His longest time of pleasure and success, were his years on the ranch.  Shoeing horses and fixing fences.  When you are in touch with the land, nature has a way of comforting you and encouraging you.  The changes in weather make you feel alive. The animals always try to respond with love and respect.

But when she turns on her fury and you feel total despair – you need your own deep strength and faith.  My new friend stumbled in the torture of years of bad weather, failed crops and sick livestock.

But I felt his connection.

So we left.  I didn’t even go home and grab better shoes.  I had my credit card, we went north and west until the houses were miles apart.

I was following an instinct, I knew the right house would appear.  And it did.  Well, the right horse did.

Shadow was there, grazing in the ditch.  I couldn’t even see the house from the road, but it was the right driveway.  An old man ran the ranch.  His kids came by occasionally, but he was getting tired.  This ridiculous looking pair – a glamorous, business women and a one-legged, stinky bum – we more than welcome here.

So we stayed.  And it snows a lot.

But instead of worrying about the roads, I feel peace and bask in the moonlight.

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