|Festus, one of the many fine ARA steeds. San Acacia, NM, Feb. 2013|
I felt almost born-again, in fact, and could feel my long-buried love for all things equine finally begin to come back to life. Why long-buried? When you have something and then can't have it anymore because life intervenes and makes it impractical or takes it out of reach, I think you sometimes have to wrap it in a thick shroud and bury it somewhere to dull the keening ache. (To put it dramatically, I guess.) As a child, I lived for horses. I mucked out stalls and cleaned tack and fed and watered horses at a local stable just to be near the horses and to earn riding time. When I was 15 or so, I got too busy, and money had to go elsewhere, and then... somehow 30 years went by during which I was able to ride maybe 3 or 4 times, and having a horse or even access to one was so far out of reach that I had to let go of the desire before it burned a hole in my heart.
Embers can hold heat for far longer than we might think, fading almost to black yet reviving brightly when finally reunited with air and fuel. We'll be riding again very soon, that much I can say for sure.