Memories are wonderful things. Imagination is the creative backbone of humankind. Without these we would be colorless, dreamless beings.
Digging back through my childhood memories as I sit upon my deck pondering all I have been blessed with, I remember one close companion.
“Spooky” was his name. He was a beautiful palomino with a coat that glistened in the sun. His mane flowed softly, fluttering in the wind, while his tail billowed behind. Bareback I rode him, my legs gripping his muscled sides. We were one, riding across the meadow in the early morning sunshine.
Spring flowers were in abundance, their colors splashed across the meadow. Along the fence line in the distance, I saw apple blossoms. As we neared the orchard, the breeze carried a tantalizing their tantalizing perfume. Soon there would be red, juicy fruit hanging heavily from the tree branches.
Spooky slowed, and we trotted along the fence line, heading toward the creek. As the bank came into view, we slowed to a walk, listening to the trickling water as it caressed the rocks lining the creek bed. I jumped from Spooky’s back and made my way to the edge. There was no need to tie him; he would not leave my side. We were tuned to each other, intuitively knowing each other’s thoughts and moods. He was my best friend, my close companion, and my protector.
The water was cold and sparkled in the spring sunshine. I removed my shoes and socks, and allowed the flowing water to tickle my toes. Tiny water spiders made circles on the surface, as they did their butterfly strokes in the clear pool. I watched them, wondering what they ate, what their purpose was, and how they survived from winter to spring. Knowing everything God creates has a reason for existence, my mind queried all aspects of life.
Across the water stood a wooden cross placed to mark the spot where my beloved cat had been buried. This was our special place, mine and Spooky’s; a place of peace, a place to restore our faith. I raised my face to the sunshine and closed my eyes allowing the warmth to soothe my soul.
I stretched upon the grassy bank, opened my eyes and perused the clouds. Across the sky danced unicorns, bears, and even a funny old man’s face! Watching closely the shapes changed, melding one to another, forming wondrous pictures. Time passed slowly, and yet too quickly, in this special place.
I donned my socks and shoes, and jumped to Spooky’s back to begin the long ride home. I heard the voices of family as we neared the house. We slowed our pace to savor the memories we had just created. Leaning low across my horse’s back, I hugged his neck, and thanked him for the ride.
I leapt from my mount and led him to the pasture. I turned him loose to graze and enjoy the remainder of the day, and I walked to the house where lunch would be waiting.
As I sit here, sipping my tea, and savoring the memory, I smile and think of my childhood home. The creek is still there, although it is now a dry bed, and a Metro Liner rail forms a bridge across its banks, where it carries passengers into the city. The wooden cross is gone from my cat’s grave, and her bones have long since become one with the earth. My parents have gone to their eternal resting place…and Spooky? He has long since passed away, put to pasture with other childhood things, although he will live forever in my memories, in my dreams. In reality, Spooky was only a wooden stick, pulled from my father’s scrap woodpile. But to me he was a golden palomino of regal stature.