The sun rises above the Smoky Mountains, pushing the mist away from the bare branches and fallen leaves. In the growing light, the horses stir, making their way to the barn. A rooster crows, waking his brood, they leave their roost and wander out into the yard. A cat stretches, the dog yawns – it is the time where living things wait to eat.
Inside, socks and robes are pulled on.
Sleepy fleet shuffle to the warm kitchen, moving yesterdays newspaper and rope repair from chairs and armrests. Coffee is brewed. There is hay to be cut, eggs to be collected, tomatoes and okra to be picked.
The horses have arrived at the fence line, ears pricked, heads lifted. Their breath plumes high into the cool air, evaporating with the mist.