I haven’t ridden a horse since I was about 16. 13 long years have passed. I’m a desk jockey now, 50 lbs overweight from inactivity and excessive fast food, with saddlebags of my own and a depressing lack of matching outfits and blue ribbons. I live indoors all day every day. So why in the world would I want to venture into the world of horses again after such a long absence? Because this soul craves a new breadth. It aches to rediscover something that has been lost. It struggles to breath in these compartments inundated with the whirring of electrical objects and fabricated chemicals that are killing it slowly. Even now an unfamiliar noise fills my chest and mind. It’s the gnashing of teeth from a wild animal stuck in a cage far too long.
I have been researching horses and teachers and trainers and boarding facilities around Springfield for over a week now. I have looked at every picture of a horse on craigslist with an ooh and an ahh for each one. When I see them, it awakens this primal need inside me to be with them. To be running, to be outside, in the cold dew filled air and fields at sunrise without the aid of an alarm clock. All the while the robot city folk are still sleeping their ill-gained sleep, dreaming of gadgets and television programming and things without life in them. Things without lungs, legs and flesh. I can no longer dream of these man made things. They hold no excitement for me. They are dead. More importantly, they were never alive. I’m tired of feeling as lifeless as these objects that surround me day in and day out. I am still young in age, so why is it that I feel so old?
I want to be with horse people again. Animal people. Country people. People of the land. Gods people. My people. They don’t buy every scrap of food and clothing prepackaged, pregrown, and prechewed to suit their greedy infant appetites. They don’t just consume everything around them without putting something back. They grow things. They don’t grab at some money driven society’s commercially tainted tit with hands that have never known a callus. They have a richness that they purchase without any form of currency. It is earned with early mornings, bare hands and feet making contact with the earth on a daily basis, in a place where instincts are more valuable than contracts and the training is free to anyone who will come and lay claim to it. Tuition is an honest day’s work breaking a sweat before any of the 9-5 folk slap the snooze button on their alarm clock.
Today I am meeting with someone over lunch who may let me lease one of her horses for a while, so I can get the feel of it again before I consider diving further into the investment of actually owning one. Of course it’s all about money isn’t it? It has to be. I sell 8 hours of my life every day for money and I am darn sure going to get something for that time that I will never get back. This time I won’t take whatever I can get for fear of inconveniencing anyone else. This time I will research it and find something pure, something worth the cost of my lost hours. Something that will give me a little bit of life as I spend those 40 hours each week in my compartment waiting for death. This is something I can do to give me some of those breaths back. I want them. Yes, indeed. I WILL get them back.
Tonight after work I am quite literally going to see a man about some land and possibly a horse. Maybe I will put my hope in him and this animal, maybe I won’t. No matter what, this new found hope cannot be suffocated as so many others have been. This one must take root. It must live.
All I know is, if I don’t search it out, then I will continue dying when I should be living.
Call me television killer. Call me sister sunshine. Call me the early bird. Call me a hippie or a hillbilly. Even those titles seem foreign to me now and unassociated with my life.
Soon you will call me horse woman, lover of horses and wild spirited things, above all, a woman who truly lives her life. Soon I will break these restraints and run because running is all that sounds good after 10 years of being in a cage. Soon I will be free and once again, get back to being me.
Maybe it will take a while. I will have to learn to walk again. Then to trot, then canter, then gallop.All I know is this: I desperately need my skin to feel like skin again, and not just some suit I’m wearing. I want my body to feel alive with exertion, my muscles to ache from a long ride. To feel the refreshment of the early morning dew on my skin and the wind in my hair and face. These things seem insignificant, you take them for granted when you have them. At the moment, they are all I can think about.