Endings and Beginnings . . .
Last night, a friend's elder horse - a gelding that was widely known and loved in this region - lost an unexpected and tragic battle with colic. I will not name my friend nor her beloved horse to respect her privacy until she feels like speaking publicly about her loss.
And, last night, an elder mare - a heavily pregnant registered American Quarter Horse that was pulled from the kill pens just a few weeks ago - gave birth to this lovely filly. Congratulations to the mare's savior and mama Caroline Gunn
I find comfort in imagining the aged gelding and this newborn filly shared a moment on the Rainbow Bridge.
I imagine the gelding, who was always a dignified gentleman, traversing the Bridge with his head up and his pace measured - a stately, oversized, heavy-boned English hunter gentleman strolling towards endless rolling green pastures and enjoying the expansive view.
I imagine this filly, with her mama's bright copper color, scampering impatiently out from under some angel's wide paintbrush still dripping white paint, and cavorting towards the Bridge in the rush of youth. In her eagerness to start this life, she nearly collides with the giant gelding and skids to a stop in front of his huge feet to look up, up, up until she sees his muzzle, while he peers down, down, down until, with a twinkle in his eye, he spies the merry wee one before him.
"What's it like down there?!" she asks in wide-eyed wonder.
The gelding pauses, remembering his decades of life on earth, reflecting on all his various owners and circumstances. His eye softens as he thinks of his last owner, his best owner, the love of his life, as he was the love of hers.
A tear forms and slowly rolls down his massive cheek. It slides off his nose and drops onto the filly's forehead, leaving a whorl in the blaze so recently painted on that tiny face. On earth he had been old and weary, true, but he was so sad to leave his mistress, and doubly sad as they had so very little time to say 'good-bye.'
He thought of all the happy times he and his mistress had shared - all the shows and trail rides and clinics and quiet hours in the barn, in the field, in the sunshine and rain and snow, through all seasons. His huge heart overflowed with love and good memories, and he knew he would, someday, see his beloved mistress again.
"If you get the right human, little one, it is magnificent!"
The old gelding raises his head and considers the beautiful fields ahead. The tiny filly, filled with excitement, peers around his massive chest in the opposite direction.
"Go on, now, wee lass, and always remember to be a good girl. Don't bite, or kick, or have bad manners. Be sweet and smart and loving."
And so, just after midnight on Valentine's Day, a once-discarded champion AQHA mare, and some very dedicated human rescuers, welcomed this sweet face into the world.
Happy Life, little filly. You bring great joy, and great solace, to many here on earth with your arrival.