|My 31 year old mare, Rockette|
With the clang of the gate latch closing, I step into a world that I’ve known for lifetimes. As the toe of my boot kisses the well-trodden dirt before me, I am instantly nurtured by the most pleasing scent I’ve ever inhaled. It is that of horse. I bend my creaking knees into a crouch and wait. I notice there is barely a green wisp of hay left on the nearby earth as I hear the familiar melody of her voice as she approaches. Her aging legs take smaller steps these days, but she doesn’t want me to notice that. She lowers her chocolate head and makes contact with me by grazing her whiskery muzzle over my hair. My fingers reach into the coveted pocket and retrieve pieces of apple that were carefully cut into small slices that her weakening teeth can handle. Though I cover up my own gray hair, I am well aware of hers…the ones above her soulful eyes that she proudly displays because she is not as vain as I am. I breathe in her scent, and I am rejuvenated. I look beyond her small steps, her weakening teeth, and her gray hair, and all I see is love. It’s a love like no other, and it’s the way she sees me. I see our past days filled with galloping across the bean fields, of jumping over fallen trees, and hours in the woods and pastures together just being in one another’s presence. I trust her with my life, and she trusts me with hers. Her insightful spirit shows me who I am, for she is my clearest mirror. This mare, my greatest teacher and love, is my perfect sanctuary.