The phone buzzes across the room. I jump out of my dreamy state and answer it: 7:33am.
“Hi, Meaghan, this is Tangie at the Hippotherapy Center. We’re short on volunteers for the 9 o’ clock class this morning, would you be available to make it?”
“I will be there,” I reply, in what I hope sounds like a cheery, if not entirely awake, voice.
I reset my alarm to three hours before my normal summer wake-up time and lay back on the bed. Oh goodness, I sigh. Those kids and their horses sure have a way of getting me up.
I make the long trek out to the barn. Blue gallops across the arena and pokes his head through the fence to tell me good morning. The west Texas sun is shining bright and starting to hint at the warmth of the day.
We saddle the horses. As we wait for the children to arrive, I stare at the unexpected beauty of this collection of brown dirt, biting flies, green weeds, and a hot sun. My goodness, Lord, what a glorious day!
I feel a little like an outsider around all the horse gals. I walk over to Luke. He smells my outstretched hand. “Hey, boy.” I rub that soft, velvet nose. We talk about food, flies, and the sun. He continues to stare at me politely as I scratch the mud off his face.
Taylor arrives, with a grin as big as this west Texas horizon.
“You ready to get on Blue?” “Ya!”
And so we ride. We go over the bridge. We crest the hill. We weave through the grape arbor and wave to Woody. We learn how to sit, how to steer, how to trot, and what happiness is.
Micah bends over to kiss Lola on the neck. He grins and giggles. “Wings! Bird wings!” Micah is fascinated with wings today. “I want wings!” he croons. “Me too, buddy,” this often quiet sidewalker replies. They laugh.
Out here, there is nothing else. No thesis to worry over, no graduate programs to find, no deadlines, no sickness, no stalkers. Just big ponies and small children, happy to be on the back of a horse.
The air of heaven is that which blows between a horse’s ears.