Sunday, May 29, 2011

The 40ft Cross

From the very first moment I opened my eyes this morning (previously asleep in my computer chair) the sunshine just filled the living room.
I grabbed a cup of coffee & plunked back down at my computer desk to catch up on all the latest happenings online. I left a brief chat message for Val the night before asking if she would like to trail ride Saturday. Well it was Saturday and when I got online I noticed Valerie's chat box was up & she replied "what time do you want to ride today?"  I thought what a way to spend the day then with Valerie who I have rode with since I was a very young lady. I replied back to her chat with lightening speed lol. We agreed we'd meet at 11am.

I sat back in my chair, took a sip of coffee and  felt that excitement well up inside me like it has ever since I was a little kid. It happens every time I know I'm going on a trail ride. I began thinking back on the very first time I met Valerie and her Quarter Horse Arabian "Shadow". 

Heck, we were in our young twenties back in 95. I remember waking up that morning just thinking about Me & Maxx (my first Tennessee Walker), going for a trail ride. He was in his early Twenties too..He was always pretty decent to ride by himself. Maxx and I were just kinda riding along the beaten path when Maxx startled me out of my daydream by stopping dead in his tracks. Which always scared the crap out of me back then..Maxx was so focused on something ahead with both of his ears intently pricked forward!! Something was out there. I didn't know what because I couldn't see anything!!! Maxx sure knew there was something out there and in an instant I realized just how alone & deep in the woods we were at that point.. Maxx let out a few snorts & I was so scared at this point even I was excepting Big Foot to come out from around that tree. 

I could feel Maxx's "flight" switch was seconds from being tripped to the on position. I'll never understand why horses get so spooked by other horses.  From around the tree came a young women riding a beautiful black horse. Apparently her horse was also picking up on something too, "us" lol..I was never so glad to see & talk to a human being in my life hahaha. 
We chatted for a bit, both excited to find someone other then ourselves out alone on the trail and she said "what barn do your board at?" You could just imagine the excitement when we both realized we boarded at the same barn. I mean could this day GET ANY BETTER??? I don't think so lol..

Here we are almost 17 yrs later and we still enjoy each others company on and off the trail. Our love of horses & learning is a great common denominator & galloping our boy's on those long stretches of trail,field or power line is a fear she helped me over and learn to love..She is hands down, the most courteous trail rider,and one of my favorites to ride with too. I would just love to know how many miles her & I alone have put on the trail. We don't hit the trails as much as we'd like now because life is far too busy, but when we do, we sure make up for lost time..It's always a treat to have someone as knowledgeable as her in my ever learning corner of the horse world and life.There's a huge blessing in honest,loyal friends.

I finished my coffee and got ready to meet Val. We had an incredible ride.It was almost 80 degree's today but the breeze kept us so comfortable. We got about 2 miles into the ride when I recognized an opening on the left,off the trail. It's truly a miracle that I  remembered any part of this trail since the last time i rode it was my very first time on it and Bubba was so worked up that I was focused more on him then where we were going. I think I stared between his ears the whole ride, just waiting for him to blow,buck or bolt. So It was pretty amazing that I remembered so many parts of it while riding with Val. As soon as we'd go a little ways something would trigger a memory like a snapshot & I'd say "its this way Val". 
So left and up the hill we rode and as soon as we got to the top we rode into an opening. And there stood the Giant 40ft stone cross. Something to see for sure right in the middle of the woods..I saw it on my first ride through Lutherlyn & hoped I'd come this way again.

Staring at the cross today I was humbly reminded of just how imperfect I really am.  How much He suffered to give me life eternal. I was reminded of the many ways & the many things God has blessed me with. I had the love of a big brother & two great parents until the Lord called all three of them home and in their place God gave me incredible friends to lean on. Just because you love something & it has been blessed to you, does not mean you'll have it forever. Everything is on loan from God. That's how I feel. I'm learning to live life for today & to the fullest as best I can. There was a point in my life and not too long ago where it felt as if I'd lost everything.Those losses changed me. 7 days after my Big Brother died I had to put my horse "Honey" down. I had an 8year friendship with that mare. She was an awesome trail horse..I should of named her "bulldozer" but that wasn't very feminine for such a beautiful horse. 

Yeah loss sure has forever changed me. I take nothing for granted now. I fully understand that what is here in my hands right now, maybe gone tomorrow. Even being super grateful for something is no lifetime guarantee. I guess deep in my heart I was playing a bargaining game with God. God if I thank you for this horse all the time (which i did), Can I have her till a ripe old age? Silly huh? I'm learning to be me rather then just the Carolyne i want everyone too see. I have great friends..not just good friends, great friends that God set in place!! Grief is sometimes long but so much more doable with friends. Gods never left me to deal with this life alone. I'm still grateful reguardless. I'm grateful to be able to ride with my life long friend and & still be able to laugh and still learn so much from her. I'm grateful for Bubba too.

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