Last night I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t really feel like getting up and finding a book to read, so I rummaged through my side table drawer in the hopes that I had hastily stashed a book there during a whirl-wind cleaning.
I don’t use my side table drawer all that often. It’s mostly a repository of old photos in a baby shoe box and random things that I can’t seem to part with… a bit of a catchall really with used up tubes of lip balm and nearly dry pens and a stack of my old foreign exchange cards. I know that I will never “organize” this drawer because secretly I like its familiar chaos.
So I opened the drawer looking for a book… but the first thing my hand found was a long braid of horsehair.
Hello old friends.
Earlier that evening I had spied the long hank of Alise’s mane hanging off the top of the refrigerator where I had hastily put it.
A death lock.
I had picked it up, thinking that it was coming loose from its tie, it wasn’t, but… it still smells like her. Not like horse… like Alise.
And now to find the braid I had made so many years ago… I had 3 horses that were dear to me back then, Spring, Aimee and Alise. I had cut a section from each of their tails and braided it into a long braid so that no matter where I traveled I’d always have a bit of them with me. After Spring died I had carefully coiled the braid up and stored it in a small cedar chest in my drawer… but with having children things don’t always stay were we put them…
Under the braid I found a stack of old horse pics. Brandy with her fiery coat ablaze in the afternoon sun, Spring in his youthful majesty, Aimee fitted for a bit of snow sledding, Alise looking queenly as ever, Baby looking as plain and brown as she ever was, Della post ride looking bemused with us all. All good horses and ponies that have passed. But too there were pics of a young Maddy with no dusting of grey on her eyelids and of Belle’s very first ride… hard to believe that was 15 years ago as she looks exactly the same… a pic too of Laurel the OTT TB that now lives in Georgia with a friend’s daughter who loves her dearly.
There were pics of a pregnant me out with the horses in the snow. Pics of the infamous and much bemoaned mushroom hair cut while saddling Belle. Pics of me younger than Sophie now leading Baby around with Julie’s sister Beth on her back. Pics of me as a teenager riding Spring bareback in my hand painted Keds. Pics of me riding Spring with Kyle leading him… I was still blonde then so I was maybe 4…
So many pics.
So I went to sleep last night, or more accurately early this morning, a little melancholy, my head swimming with memories of horses and times long passed. Not really sad… just missing those times… missing a certain horse’s humourous manner, regretting that I never got a lock of Brandy’s mane….
But I woke up this morning at peace with them all. Lady and Willow don’t have the incredible history that I had with those other horses… at least not yet. But horses have been a part of my life for almost as long as I can remember… and I don’t see that changing.