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After Reading Again Martin Buber's ``I and Thou''

I see my neighbor slowly leading a lame horse down a steep ridge behind my place: ``Boge!'' I call sharply (His real name is Harold). ``Are you lost?'' I ask in fun. He stops to wait, the horse bends to graze, and Boge's wire glasses glint in the sun. ``No,'' he replies, ``I came up here to care for this horse and dream a little.'' We pace the ridge together, near sunset, compare our views. Colors stretch across the hill as I follow horse and man down into a maze of young oaks. Around us the air is still, except for the distant drone of a towboat shoving loaded barges upriver. At the base of the hill we pause. October leaves float from a sycamore by a spring. ``Do you dream along that ridge often?'' I ask in a space between falling leaves. Boge, who's serene in his seventy-five years, thinks a while. ``Well,'' he begins, ``I've more time nowadays than I had before.'' He pauses with a smile, then adds, ``I've always believed that peace feeds the soul.'' The sun sinks; its blaze fans across the river with a slow decrease in light. The horse's halting gait stirs plumes of dust against the quickening feaze of day to evening: a creamy light shimmers in the horse's wake. I used to wonder why Boge kept him. ``Got his leg hung crossways in a fence when he was a colt; I thought I never would get that leg free,'' he once told me. At the gate where I turn for my place, Boge steps near the horse to keep off a cold wind from the river. I watch them go as far down the road as I can see in evening haze and sky dimming to half moon and evening star.

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