There are some days when I feel so frustrated by how far away and impossible my goals and heart of hearts desires can be.
I will describe these things in memories.
I must have been five or so, and mom took me to the store and let me put a quarter into one of those plastic motorized ponies that would sway mechanically from side to side. It was a quarter’s worth of fantasy in which I was a cowgirl on the range.
I remember Papi and Mom telling me in that I told you so voice, that I could really be missing out if I didn’t go with them to the friend of a friends party for people who had just moved back from D.C to Bosque Farms. “I think Fernando has horses,” Papi said. I grabbed my purse and jumped in the car.
I remember the drive from our house at 408 to the grandparent’s house in Rio Rancho. Sometimes Mom would take Rio Grande so we could pass all the fancy horse farms while I glued my face to the window.
I remember my first proper lesson at Liz Sanchez, Margarita, the slowest arabian and barely alive. I reveled in the idea of cross ties and saddling my own horse and Rocky, the brown easy going appendix quarter horse.
I remember North Valley Equestrian Center, where I attended my first show, I made my first horse friends, and worked in exchange for lessons.
I remember when my soccer coach Ralph pulled me aside one day after practice to give me one of his old racing saddles, because he knew I loved horses.
I remember weekend trail rides with Fernando and how he compared all his horses to cars. My favorite horse in the world, a beautiful golden buckskin mare who loved to be outside, who I chased around the pasture with carrots in my hand, and who had a stubborn streak that humbled me so many times.
I remember Fox Meadow Farms, where the nicest horsewoman in the world gave me the benefit of the doubt and hired me to work for my lessons. I remember feeling all the stress of school and deadlines and GPA’s and organic chemistry leave me the moment I stepped into the barn. In that arena, nothing existed except me and whichever horse was putting up with me that day. I volunteered to work weekends, and found sanity in the deep satisfaction that comes with physical labor.
Then there was RTR, where everything I love in this world came together in the most beautiful and incredible way. This may be my last summer there and I plan on enjoying it to the fullest.
While cleaning my room after school, I suddenly felt that fire, that intense longing, for the countryside, the smell of sawdust and grass, and the familiar sight of a horse. I have never been so frustrated to be in the city.
Dear hopes and dreams,
I miss you.