Even now, it hurts. For those of us who speak the secret language, the details stab a wound we can’t explain. Blood bay with broken stripe. Fifteen hands high.
It stabs my heart, even now. The words that proudly flow from me into the online classified ad – desperately opening with the line “FREE to the right person” – provide a mystical and unwanted return to a time I wish I could forget. But it seems that time and experience of a certain kind just lodges itself in one’s bones and knits itself inextricably into the framework. The weather of late exacerbates the problem.
Have you ever instantly returned?
The chill coming down the October air lifts and magnifies the fully animal, very autumnal-in-itself smell of the horse’s sweat – the lighter notes of clean and worn out leather drift over the top. Myself, a small afterthought of a girl astride, simply nowhere but so deep in now that it feels almost elsewhere as I count silently, the strides disappearing to the foot of the fence. Three, two, one…four, three, two, one…one…one…
The horses hold their breath when airborne. Just like you. Time dissipates in the air.
So, what? Is it, then, the ultimate experience? Because even as I type these words I question what makes me so sure that I’ve been wrong for the last sixteen years. Perhaps I’m wrong now? Did I go wrong in making too much philosophy of it, of over-thinking what the life of a horseman is?
Or am I right, now? Am I right in my sudden break down-and-through of seeing the last sixteen years with fresh eyes? Has the slow yet steady unraveling of the last sixteen years been true?
Perhaps I am trying too hard, even now, in my efforts to efficiently come to one end or the other. And I hate to anthropomorphize, but maybe my heart is not the only one rattling broken chunks inside my chest.
What do my tears mean? I am either making a mistake, or this is just the last cramp in my metaphorical legs as I move onward and upward.