"The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing —
to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from —
my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing,
all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back."

~C.S. Lewis


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Purple-flowered prayer

Four braids. Three, actually, with one still undone. Maia’s tangled black mane reaches to her chest, my fingers run through it, and rainy wind breathes on eastern pasture.

It’s nearly supper, and I haven’t had lunch; a little dizzy, but I don’t notice; long ago I learned to keep myself from fainting. I stand and the world swims, can’t hear, can’t see, hand reaches silently for a wall. But I learn to hide, to sit and look in embroidered purse for something invisible, and no one knows the imminence of a fall. They go on with their lives, and in a few moments, my world returns, and I continue with mine.

Maia breathes free from halter or rope. Fourth braid almost finished, and horse dirt sticks to mane-greased fingers. Maia is not quite sleeping, standing with me in the field. She would be, except for the turkeys poking through violet clover on the far side of the hill. They need watching, suspicious things.

Maia never misses anything. I get dizzy, stop breathing, and she knows, but she also feels when I live the joy of my grandma’s purple-flowered trellis. She never asks me to be anyone I cannot be at this moment, but she does demand I live in all the beauty I can today. This is a good lesson, to live in the moment.

I crouch for the green comb in the grass, stand, vision blurs, hand touches Maia’s shoulder, she stays still for me. When I stand and darkness closes in, I don’t think well, and sometimes all I can remember is the presence of God. Then I understand the meaning of prayer.