Monday, November 5, 2012

A Moment of Grace

Have you ever had a moment when you were so filled up with Joy that time seems to stand still and the universe holds it's breath? I had one of those moments yesterday on our ride. It carried flavors of my childhood laced through the excitement and wonder of riding this incredible boy of mine. Woven through all of that is the knowledge that I am creating something special and deep with Ashke, that we are building to the point where I will trust him to carry me through fire, and he will trust me not to take him through fire.

To completely understand the emotions evoked in this picture, I have to take you back to a place and time that perhaps only my sister will remember and understand. Our Sagebrush Place.

We found a spot on the edge of Firth, maybe five acres or so, that was wild and free. There was a slight rise in the ground as you first rode into the Sagebrush Place and once beyond it, you couldn't be seen from the road. It was a wild and free spot, filled with horse high sage and mequite, threaded through with deer trails. We rode those trails at a wild gallop, whooping and screaming at each other, trying to figure out how to hang off the side of our horses by a loop woven in their manes and a toe hooked in the far side of their flanks. It was an amazing place, like nothing I had ever seen before, and it drew me as completely as anything ever has. It was the place where my sister and I dared to thumb our noses at society. As soon as we had crested the ridge, our shirts came off and we rode bare chested and wild for hours. It was freedom. It was amazing.

That was my only taste of high prairie until the first time I drove from Cheyenne Wyoming up Happy Jack road. The shock of that land was like a spear shot through my chest, stealing breath and thought and reason. I drove the road at 10 miles an hour with my hazard lights on, fascinated and compelled by the landscape on a level that escapes description. It was like coming home for the first time. Stronger and deeper than even my love of the mountains and the West. Something that sang to me as a child, called even deeper as an adult.

Yesterday was like the arcing arrow of geese in flight, or the bare branches of a majestic cottonwood silouetted against the setting sun, or the soft purr of a tired kitten curled in my lap. It is joy, pure and simple. An emotion so complex and overwhelming it defies logic, expression. I sat, on the top of that hill, gazing on the little stretch of prairie before me and recognized the moment for what it was. A moment of Grace, of perfection, of perfect peace.

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