On a chilly, rainy April afternoon, the horses are out contentedly grazing in the midst of a field of buttercup. As scenic as it may be, the buttercup tells me that the soil itself is spent, tired, overused and abused. It needs both lime and fertilizer. The horses haven't even drifted towards the gate into the barnyard in search of grain despite being used to a steaming bucket of sweet feed every morning.
A builder is adding onto my barn this week, so the horses are locked out. Why are they so content to graze in the buttercup instead of diving nose deep into a bucket of sweet oats and molasses?
Beneath the flowers are the new shoots of bermuda grass that had just begun to grow when the temperatures reached 70 degrees last week. They are loaded with sugar but tiny, close to the ground and few and far between. So, the horses spend hours slowly strolling, heads down, focused on those tiny sweet sprouts that are both delicious and deadly. Too much can cause laminitis, a treacherous inflammation of a horse's hoof that can result in excruciating pain and even euthanasia. In another couple of weeks, as the weather warms, the sprouts of bermuda will become tough and lose their sweetness. But for now, they're content.
I have buttercups in my life. I also have shoots of bermuda grass.
Unlike the horses, I don't always stay focused on the sweetness of the moment.