Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Angels in Disguise

Do horses have a morning ritual? I take my daughter to school at the same time each morning, and I drive by several pastures of horses. Each day, the horses line up side by side and appear to all be looking at something off in the distance. It's like the scene from that Nic Cage movie where the angels gather on the beach to watch the sunrise. Perhaps horses are angels?

A little while ago, my cat of eleven years crossed the Rainbow Bridge. She had been sick for about a week, and in my heart I knew there was a good chance she wouldn't be around much longer. As prepared as I thought I was, I still found myself crying uncontrollably when the inevitable came to pass. Afterwards, my eyes would well up at the tiniest thought of her.

I had a riding lesson scheduled for the afternoon on the day she passed away. Feeling I needed a distraction, I resisted the urge to cancel it. When I arrived at the ranch, my instructor told me to tack up Jupiter. My nerves quaking, I went to Jupiter's stall, put on his halter, led him out to the cross ties, and started our pre-ride routine. I'd ridden Jupiter before, but he can be difficult for an inexperienced, unassertive rider like myself. Still, I like Jupiter. He has lots of personality, is affectionate, and makes me laugh by using me as a napkin.

As I was grooming him, Jupiter brought his neck around and nudged me. A playful horse, he often does this. I turned to face him. "What?" I asked, amused. Jupiter responded by placing his face on my chest and standing still and quiet. I hugged him around the neck; it seemed like the thing to do. We just stood there for a few minutes, he with his face buried in my chest, and I with my arms around him. All my sadness melted away. I finished grooming and tacking up, and we had a great lesson. After that, I was fine.

Perhaps horses are angels after all, and my angel thinks I'm a Kleenex.

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