Having laid out the kids' outfits the night before, I was more than a little shocked to find I had slept in, that the kids had up and gotten themselves dressed, and that they were off and running.By the time I made it outside, they'd fed and watered all the animals, and watched Grandpa bathe the horses in anticipation of the roping this afternoon.
And I loved so much in that moment just how very easy everything felt. And it was so hard to swallow the impermanence of it all.And then they were up on Genie again. My brother's horse of a thousand years. Sweet and gentle, and a little neglected now that the more virile and much younger Peanut got picked first to rope. So it was no surprise that Genie was quite literally chomping at the bit. Dancing a little on her back hooves. Excited to be moving, to be out and about, to be free. Well...sort of.
But Grandpa had a good hold of her and plopped the kids up there bareback again. Only this time, Chago was in the back. And this, perhaps, was where things went wrong.Saia, we noticed right away, is a natural. Gripping her power thighs and sitting back comfortably into the curve of Genie's back.
Chago...well, Chago is a little more uptight. Not very keen on the unpredictability of the experience, and with legs skinner than my pinky, he just wasn't feeling all that confident and in control...especially not in the back.
So, all he could was grab onto Saia from behind.
But as I watched them walk around the ranch, I began to feel a heaviness in my heart, my father getting older, my niece and nephews growing up so fast without me, my brother and I practically strangers at this point, my only grandparent left, and the sights and sounds and smells of everything I know, everything that reminds me of home, just so far away from the life we live in California.
And then they fell off.