Today last year, the first horses arrived here at Mansfield. Yesterday, I went out into the field, lay my cheek on their barrels, and wept into their coats. They let me. Unlike so many friends and family members, it was not one of my day’s tasks to muster the composure and nuance to explain a new world to my children before school.
That is a slice of my personal privilege. I am a 31-year old woman who has chosen to be childless. I work on a farm, which, with knowledge, skills, and grit conveyed by my mother, I largely run solo day to day. I own a small business. To make a modest living in what amounts to burying my hands (and face, on a bad day) in animal hair is just dumb fortune—to an extent. It’s also a right granted to me by decades of work by women who fought for an uncertain but just future. On November 8, I voted in their honor, and for the protection of people whom law likes to forget, and for the most presidential candidate I’ve ever seen—a woman, no less.
Woman, man, and child, our work continues. Yesterday, I leaned on the sturdy companionship of my animal friends and comforted myself with the rote chores their subsistence entails. Today, I rejoin that other workforce, the abstract, full-time one, in the field where understanding is sought, bridges are built, and all are welcome. See you there.