Sunday, June 24, 2018


Right and left
The Feels
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

            There is something magical that comes with the cool of the morning. It is even more so when it is before sunup, nothing is stirring, and the sounds still belong to the night.
            If there were a thousand mornings stacked end to end, it would never get old. If a person is the least inclined, that is exactly the time you learn to love the ranch. That is when you walk to the corral in silence. Every sense is focused. The horse left up to jingle greets you with a soft nicker. As a kid, your grandad catches him, throws a saddle on, and quickly you follow catching stirrups and adjusting reins. Nothing is said as the gate is thrown open and off you go into the darkness noting the eastern horizon has grown lighter since you left the house. From experience, you know where the horses are likely to be. They know the drill and their intent is to foil the well-rehearsed plot. Resistance is a mandatory condition of the arrangement.
The warmth from the horse becomes more welcome and reassuring. His footfalls are quiet, too. Everything is as light as a feather. Without thinking, you have entered into a rare and real life drama.
If you get to a point you can see lights from the Mangus station, the horses must be in the bottom to your front right there in the dark. Finally, they break and are running in the same instant. The jingle horse’s ears are up and he is wired to fall in with them. You hold him until he clears the creek and then you let him go. Forty four hooves are pounding and the induced wind hits you square in the face. The sensation emerges as not just freedom, but immensity of freedom.    
Quickly, everybody is running flat out. Not touching any leather except where you sit you and the old horse meld together. You lean closer against his neck and seek the perfect balance he is offering. His mane strokes your face, and he, too, is young, and strong, and vital again.
For a moment in space without time, the ride is wide open and nobody is pulling any slack, but, as the lead horse enters the corral, the procession pulls to an abrupt stop. As the rider and the jingle horse clears the gate, Grandpa would be closing it. The dust would then start to settle and everybody would be finding a place around the stanchion where the oats would be spread on a deck worn smooth by daily use.
The saddle was pulled and the jingle horse was turned loose. His work for the day was completed.
The walk to the house and breakfast was then time for talk. Grandpa would include you in the discussion of what the morning would bring. Silence was no longer a prerequisite, and the eastern horizon was blazing yellow and red. The day had begun.
The feel … could simply not be more alive.
The Feels
It was predicted to be 105° today.
We’ve been moving a pasture and the heat is not making anything easy. The drill has been to pen a bunch of cattle in the late afternoon and then early the next morning brand the slick calves missed or not yet born in the first work. In this way, we can avoid the stress of the most intense heat and we can make sure we turn back any tight bagged cows before we cross them.
            The Feels coming out of these early mornings have made it enjoyable.
It was when I saw that phrasing in print that I was reminded that there is a big world out there that has little ideal of the life we live. The plot surrounded the House minority leader, yes, she who hails from San Francisco and vows to be Speaker once again. It could have been in any number of issues that were referenced, but the one that stands out most prevalent this week is the debacle that immigration has become. The author suggested her actions are constantly motivated by The Feels she is selling. It was compared to her propensity to sell a new car smell without regard to the car, the flat tires, or the odometer readings over time.
It is the new car smell that really matters to her and her followers-in-law.
In the extravaganza of the immigration debate, the matter of border protection is simple prerequisite phraseology to her. It means that when she finally rights every gringo, colonial, male wrong in her world and elevates every down trodden soul to their rightful place at the tax payers table, she will finally be happy, well … probably not.
For sure, she opts for open borders where everybody can come into this land of cornucopia where our Constitution guarantees them abundant living replete with a permanent new car smell botella of essence.
The problem is those of us who confront throes of 105° days want the damn drugs stopped. We want sex trafficking stopped. We want the tracks of illegals including terrorists gone from our pastures and our front yards, and, most of all, we are sick to death of the exportation of benefits that have kept the Frontera Mexicana from imploding at our expense.
There remains something magical about the witching hour. My elders taught me that. At 3:30 AM, the night sounds still prevail, and the coming chaos of day is not yet on the eastern horizon.
It is there sanity is glimpsed.
Conversation is not required, or, for that matter, any sound. There will be horses to feed, but they won’t be jingled. In that, I am saddened, but we will ride. We will check the tight bagged cows, too. Not everybody is eligible to be crossed to new pastures.

Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “Viva God fearing, free, and independent Americans!”

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