If you're a horse person and you're in a place that snows, then you know how tough winter is. If you're a neighbor and you reach out to know those in your neighborhood, then you know how rewarding that can be. The last couple of weeks a neighborly crisis, the snow and reaping the rewards have merged.
I live next to a 35 acre horse farm, and I've come to know the people who run it as well as ride there. Three weeks ago my trainer was on a flighty horse who spooked, then decided to turn into a rodeo horse. My trainer flew six or so feet in the air as the mare leaped, then somehow she landed full force upright. In an instant, her heel, lower leg/tibia and kneecap were shattered and/or displaced. Two surgeries later, she's now recovering and will be for months.
In the meantime, 20+ horses need care and their caretaker is broken in bed. As much as I can, I've headed over to knock the ice out of frozen water buckets, muck stalls, and shuffle the horses back and forth to their pastures. I haven't been painting as much as I'd like, but that has to wait.
Lots of other neighbors and friends have stepped up and helped. Unfortunately, a few conspicuous potential helpers have not stepped up. At all. Here in the South, religion oozes through some. I've noticed they're often the ones who judge the hardest and help the least.
Spring will come. We'll forget how hard these weeks are and cherish how the hard times brought us together. To know how to appreciate this is a gift without strings. Or judgements.