"If you're lucky enough to find anything in life that gives you five seconds let alone an hour of relief from life, you should try to do it forever." Jack Antonoff, Musician, Songwriter, Producer
When I returned from my summer break with my far-away siblings, I was feeling homesick for them. I got out to the stables early the next day to cheer myself up.
"Did you hear about Heather?" my friend Mary asked with sad eyes as I wiped off my bridle. "It was so unexpected... She lost her son last week."
Heather's son? I had just met her grandson and granddaughter last month at the stables, who were the same age as my kids, so her son must be around my age.
"No, how awful," I murmured. "Poor Heather."
"Yes, it's tragic," she said. "I talked to her yesterday. She seemed okay despite everything."
"Yesterday? She was out here?"
"She and her grandkids went for a trail ride. This is the best place to be when you need to get away from real life," Mary commented knowingly. I nodded silently. Mary's husband had just been through a horrible health scare. We all suffer from various levels of heart-hurt on a daily basis. Our barn is pure escapism, from worry, frustration, hurt, even unimaginable loss.
When I crop photos I take at the stables, I also use the Apple magic wand in my photo editor to make the picture brighter and enhance the colors. Only then can Sportie's fans truly get to see what I see every time I step out of my van and into my Paradise Found. The blues are bluer, the greens greener, and Sportie's white-splashed face is a glowing frame around his bottomless liquid black eyes. It's like living in high-resolution technicolor for the three or four hours I get to spend there.
Relief from real life. We all need it, somewhere, somehow, because life is rough. Our horses make the hardest landings a little softer. I'll need to do this riding thing forever.