Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hope on Tiny Hooves

I stood in the stall just watching. Her mother pinned her ears defensively at no one in particular as she hovered over the newly blanketed charge at her feet. I edged close enough to peer under the mare's neck at the sleeping body of my new foal.

Her blondness so light and feather fine, lanky long legs and slightly curly ears with so many downy tufts of newborn fuzz stirred in me a feeling I had been sure was dead. There she was, dripping in potential and wonder and hope - scary, daunting, irrational hope. As that hope coursed through my soul on tiny, tentative hooves I began to weep. How much easier it had been to think this feeling would never return. How smugly I had said that horses just don't touch me like they do others. How very, very wrong I had been.

There is no longer an ability (nor desire) to deny the hold that a horse can have over me. I had fooled myself into believing that I could traverse my life without missing the feel of a soft muzzle on my back. I had talked to myself and believed that I didn't need to own another horse. I was convincing when I said I would not breed horses again, the risks didn't make sense and the money never panned out. I had soothed my heart with the fact that I had owned my "once in a lifetime" horse already. I had freed myself from the pain of that kind of love... And if she had never come, I might have been able to keep that facade erected against my fears. But she came. She came and changed everything...

She has come on tiny cream hued feet and nuzzled me, her eyes wide with undaunted curiosity. She has wandered unsteadily into my heart like a drunken thief and there will be no denying it now. Like a dam let loose upon thirsty land I am drinking her in in greedy gulps, quenching a thirst I never dreamt would return. Awakened again, I am insatiable and irrational and famished for the hope that this little filly has brought back to me: Someday, I will ride again.

I cannot get enough of her. I could sit in her stall, hour upon hour, and watch as she slept, awakened, ate... It would fill my soul to the brim. Her mother doesn't feel the same. I am an intrusion that might steal her little slice of Heaven away. I touch her too much, I talk too loudly, I move too fast. That feeling of new motherhood is recalled to mind as I stand in the corner to watch. I remember the quiet of the mornings with my kids and wonder how I can even compare it to this. It's not rational. Yet, I recall so many friends who have related just the same to me as I listened and thought, "How quaint..." Now I am quaint. I am silly and deluded. I am once again a part of the craziness.

I own a horse. Her name is Honey. I call her Hope in my heart.