I swear I saw you.
I was looking out of the window that gives me the best view of the back pasture. It’s the perfect place to watch the sunrise. It’s also the perfect place to check on the horses, donkeys, sheep, and mule that share our home.
As my eyes scanned the pasture, I saw a horse in an adjacent pasture where no horses live. He was standing at the edge of the pond, getting a drink in the misty light of dawn. My first thought was that one of the neighbor’s horses must have strayed from his pasture. I quickly glanced at my own horses to be sure the headcount was right and then I looked immediately back to the spot by the pond, but the horse was gone. Just a vision lost in the early morning fog.
A vision, but one that stayed so very clear in my mind’s eye. As I studied my mental picture of the horse, something familiar emerged, and I knew. It was you. My dear Scout, the horse born of childhood dreams. Gone now for what? Two years? Three years? My heart can’t bear to keep count.
I committed the image to memory and moved into my day. Grateful for perhaps a little visit from a friend I miss more than I can begin to explain.
I think you have come here a few times before; times when I have needed you. The dogs charging out to bark along the fence at absolutely nothing. Was that you? The wind ruffling the back of my sweatshirt just as you used to do when you were in a playful mood. I feel sure that was you.
But this time, you didn’t come to see me, did you. You came for her.
The dear old mare, retired from her days of streaking around the track in colorful silks with a roaring crowd spurring her on. A true black beauty, allowed to live here in her golden years, to do a new sort of job raising not just one, but three sweet young foals who were not her own, but youngsters she took under her tutelage, teaching lessons that only a wise old mare can teach.
She raised you, didn’t she dear boy? With her patient ways that knew when to let a nosy little weanling push his way into her feed bucket, but also knew when that nosy little boy needed a nip on the neck or a quick, restrained pop from a back foot.
Even when you grew to tower over the old mare, you respected her. You still looked up to her in a figurative sense. You needed her guidance. You needed her to nuzzle your mane in reassurance.
And now, she needed you, so you came for her.
Silent stretched out in the middle of her pasture. Her long legs not willing to gather up to bear her weight again. Her giant heart heavy from decades of life.
Yes, she needed you. You came to wait for her. I saw you there. And when she called to you, you answered. You showed her the way to the wide open pastures where she could be reborn, where she could once again have the strength to do what she most loved—stretch out her legs, grab the earth with her hooves, and race the wind.
I can see the two of you racing together, the one who left far too soon running alongside the one who stayed for so very long. I think you allowed the black mare to win by just a nose.
Thank you dear boy. You have guided your old friend to the path of healing and light. At the same time, maybe you have allowed my heart to begin to heal just a little bit as well.