Wednesday, December 15, 2010
When The Saddle Is Loose
Back around 1982ish, I had this really cute boyfriend who lived just below town on the Ohio River. He was short like me, but since he was a guy, his lack of height had more impact on his ego. As a result, he was a risk taker, even maybe a daredevil. If there was some kind of extreme sport, he was going to try it.
He pushed me out of my comfort zone, introducing me to all kinds of things I would have never attempted without someone making me.
When we weren't breaking every Catholic rule in the backseat of his fabulous Chevelle, we were riding horses or water skiing or snow skiing or crashed out watching Friday Night Videos. This was the guy who encouraged me to jump off the bridge from 33 feet up. He was also the one with whom I got two vehicles stuck in the mud because we were horny teenage idiots.
Thank goodness we came from a place where friends with 4 wheel drive trucks were common.
But this post isn't about wild, teenage sex. It's not even about clumsy teenage sex. Not really.
One afternoon we were riding horses up the hill behind his house. Who knows what kind of stupid thing I was doing at the time - checking my lip gloss or making sure I was sucking in my tummy, but in a flash, I was in the gravel and watching the back end of my horse trot away.
"Are you okay?" Cute boyfriend climbed off his horse and extended a hand to help me up.
"Yes, just my pride is hurt." I tried to play it off while I rubbed my sore left butt cheek that took the brunt of the fall.
"Well, this is your chance to show what you're made of. You getting back on the horse or not?" He wasn't impatient. It was a simple statement of fact, a practical matter. Were we going on with our ride or walking back to the barn?
I looked at my horse. He'd stopped and looked back at us over his flank. "Let's go. I want to see that meadow."
The meadow was just as he'd described it. It was a flat on top of the ridge, ringed by maples and oaks. Wildflowers waved among the tall grasses. We tied the horses to a tree and Cute Boyfriend spread out a blanket he'd brought along.
Getting back on the horse was its own reward. I'm not afraid. I can do this. I won't be beaten so easily. Reaching the meadow was a different kind of sweet. I liked to see this more sensitive side to Cute Boyfriend. He'd found a thing of beauty and he wanted to share it with me. Later, as I looked over his shoulder at the blue sky with high, wispy clouds and twined my fingers into his honey brown hair, I took a mental snapshot.
That night, I wrote something uncharacteristically wise and thoughtful in my journal. "Remember this day. Remember the lesson of this day. Get back on the horse."
Do you detect a theme here? Are you good at getting back on the metaphorical horse? Who took my funny and replaced it with this cliche?