You probably don’t know this: but I really like horses. Yeah, I know, there aren’t any images of horses on my blog.
But when I thought about creating this About Me page a metaphor came to me: my musings are like horses. Thoughts appear like an atmospheric ripple in the distance, and as I draw closer I see manes and tails flowing like the ribbons in rhythmic gymnastics; I hear hoof beats dancing on the turf; and the aromas of horse sweat and grass tickle my nose.
And, too, horses have always been a part of my life.
My family tree was saved by a horse. When my grandfather’s mother died in a cold North Dakota winter, my grandfather was only an infant. He couldn’t drink human milk, cow’s milk, sheep’s milk, or goat’s milk, and was dying. So his desperate father went out to look for a nursing mare. He found an angry buckskin with foal in tow and suffered many a bruise milking that horse.
While other girls played with dolls, I had horse figurines – painted with shoe polish into appaloosas and pintos; broken legs repaired with sticks and rubber bands so they could still run; herds spread out on the living room carpet racing to the safety of a grassy valley.
I was bullied constantly by the cool kids. On the school bus they chanted, “Michelle, you’re such a dog, Woof – Woof”, over and over. Until finally I snapped and screamed:
I’m not a dog. I’m a horse!
The words just blazed out of my mouth before I even thought them.
There was no way a military family could have a horse because of the expense and the constant moving. (I attended over 20 schools before I graduated from High School.) But my birthday and Christmas presents were usually horse related: riding lessons at the base stables, or a gift card for Saturday morning trail rides. My family gave me subscriptions to Horse and Rider, and Western Horseman. I read every book in the library about horses, fiction and non-fiction. Highlights on the list: Misty of Chincoteaque, And Miles to Go, King of the Wind, Sea Biscuit, Black Beauty, and the Black Stallion.
I expanded my published works list by writing for Equine Images (Horses and Art), and Houston Horse and Hound (Horses and Sport). Some of my favorite pieces for the Houston Chronicle This Week were about horses.
Even now, when I drive through the open expanses of the West, I like to imagine riding the range on a sure footed steed.
And, so, we come back to the starting gate, to the metaphor about my musings: they are like horses, the constant companions throughout my life, well-known and well-loved.
In some ways, it seems almost cruel to rope, bridle and saddle these ethereal and untamed thoughts with wordy images. But then I realized that this process gives me a way to share some of what I have found on the path I have ridden.
And then you, dear reader, can ride the musings, if you wish, down your own paths.