Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Rumblings of the Past



It was something out of a fairy tale. Like those movies who open on a mist shrouded landscape, trees and horse silhouettes placed here and there as if by an artist's hands, birds singing cheerily in the soft morning light. The hum of my golf cart was the only thing breaking the silence this early and I felt out of place and loud. I was aware of how much history surrounded me, if not directly in the horse park, then at least all around me in adjacent farms dotting the countryside behind whitewashed fences and large stone gateways. It was overwhelming. It was awesome. It was a once in a lifetime kind of feeling, though I long to return.

Kentucky is under the spotlight this week as the Derby amps up and the world will watch. While the racing world is foreign to us, the history of what it brought is so spectacular and foundational it cannot be overlooked. I spent the last week at the Kentucky Horse Park, surrounded by the elite of the horse world, both in our event (reining) and in the Three Day Events. I am still in awe. It cannot be described except in terms that would sound too much like I was making it up. I am still processing much of it.

To have walked by horses as famous as Cigar and giggled at the way he looked like any of our horses who desperately want just one more hour in their turn out. To have looked upon the statue of Man O War and realized that he and two of his offspring were buried under the fountain foundation was awe inspiring. To gaze at the statue of Secretariat and reminisce about the electricity in the air that day, the anticipation and the excitement creating sparks that made your skin tingle. These are all things that I am savoring today. I want to stop strangers on the street and tell them what I saw... I want to weep at the welling up of pride and emotion for what my husband accomplished there... And yet I know I simply don't have the words yet. I may never have the words...

As I watch the Kentucky Derby this weekend, I will do so with a knowing smile and a full heart. I was close to that place. I felt the vibration of thundering hooves throughout history ushering in greatness, honor and nobility. Simply breathtaking.