The first half of this story can be found —–>Right Here
[Kingdoms and Horses.]
I learned so much about horses way back when. I learned how to tack them up, and all the names of the various pieces of tack: the stirrups, reins, bridle, halter, as well as the bit–and was privy to the process of caring for and shoeing a horses hooves. Horses, (much like cars), also require maintenance. A good wash and a brush down was taught to me as well. I was shown how to ride; was taught the proper way to hold the reins; and was shown how to feed Perry without having my fingers removed from my hand. I was even given a ride to school on horse back a time or two. From then on I was hooked on horses, and even dreamed of having one of my very own some day.
When we did move from that old house, I started to save my money for that dream, and when my penny collection had reached one hundred pennies I was sure that I was getting close to my dream becoming a reality. I even had a favorite breed of horse picked out. (I tried to remember what it was. All I can remember for certain is that it had an unusually beautiful coat–like no horse I’d ever seen.) Upon Google searching the names of horse breeds (Believe me there are a lot of them!) nothing jogged my memory, so I looked up unique horse breeds instead. It was the ‘Akhal-Teke’ that jogged my memory of that glistening horses’ unusual coat. This has to be the one, it has that metallic sheen that first caught my eye. I never knew this about them, but in China they are referred to as ‘horses from heaven’.
My dream though–much like the name of my favorite horse–would become a forgotten thing of the past. In fact it came to a rather swift halt. My Dad took notice of just how much I was missing the horses, now that we were living in a townhouse away from the grand farm life we’d known. So, he made plans to take me horseback riding. When the day finally arrived though, the weather conditions were just not great. It was grey and cool, and maybe it was raining some too, so he tried to convince me to reschedule for another day. Of course my heart was set on what had been promised me, so I wasn’t about to cancel our outing for anything. (You know how kids are.) Not wanting to wait for a better day, we kept to the plan, hopped in the car, and headed out. Our equestrian experience would indeed be experienced.
All saddled up now, and ready to ride, we made our way down one side of the property to the tree line at the far end. Now as far as the tree line, we turned to follow that course, and were making our way across the opposite end from where we began–when part way across–my horse started to act up. It veered off the path, crossing the property in an attempt to head back towards the barn that it had been safely sheltered in. It then–to my horror– decided that a leisurely pace just wasn’t good enough for it, and began galloping towards it’s destination with me hanging on for dear life, begging it to stop. I tried desperately–as the guide chasing after us on horseback was instructing–to pull back on the reins, but only with one hand (Uh, yeah, there was no way I was going to let go of the saddle! Not with both hands anyways. This was no Frosty, but a true horse sized horse.) My meager attempts to pull on the reins with one hand failed, and that horse had it’s mind set on home, with no intention of stopping.
If It weren’t for the lessons taught me, I might not have known to hold so tightly to the saddle with my legs, which my parents later pointed out surprisingly kept me from falling off. Almost needless to say, when my horse finally did reach it’s desired destination and came to a halt–as traumatized as I was–there was no way I was boarding another horse, when offered. Yes, the proverbial ‘get back on the horse’ fell flat that day in the most literal of ways. That was the last time I’d ride, and what a ride it was. Apparently it wasn’t the horse that was spooked, but me. My ride just didn’t want to ride. It’s preference of a cozy warm barn was on it’s agenda that day, and I can’t say I blame the horse one bit. However, with life in me yet, and this journey still young, perhaps one of these days I’ll just stop horsing around, and give it another go.
What is it about that old farm house? (Besides the obvious marvel of course.) I wondered if it still stood their on our old beloved road, so I brought up Google maps on my laptop and took a virtual drive. So much has changed down that street now, not to mention the city as a whole; once mostly rural land–it’s become an over crowded vista of modern homes and businesses. However, that beautiful old house is still there, standing out like a sore thumb, but a glorious one at that. For the most part it’s unchanged, and as I remember it, like a time capsule full of it’s treasure; and the trees– they’ve grown so tall! I wonder what you can see from up that high, now.
This particular time frame of my child hood was like a little piece of heaven here on Earth, or even the garden of Eden before sin entered in. Not to say that we were without sin, but that the world hadn’t come crashing in on me, and life’s cascading events had yet to make their defining marks on me. Back before the school days began there were no commitments, and life’s lessons consisted of discovering the fascinating world around me. Living out fairy tales, and the love and togetherness of family was an adventure.
Those farm day lessons were gentle, and there were no real worries or fears, as I ran carefree over the rugged clay ground with a pop can in one hand singing Coca-Cola, (or was it Pepsi) jingles? It just goes to show you how much influence even something as simple as an advertisement can have on a kid (an adult too). However, days back then were a very literal Coca-Cola add campaign played out in real life.
I imagine one day when I meet my Maker, it will be exceedingly more joyous than even these wonderful memories. I think my horse dream shall ride again, if I don’t own my own beauty in life here and now, I’m sure I’ll ride my own shimmery heavenly horse in the Kingdom of God–even with my Jesus at my side upon his glorious white steed. Being that so much changes over the years, It was such a comfort to see that house still stands very much unchanged, like the God I know. (Who Himself never changes).
Many years back, before I even knew Andrew (so over twenty-two years ago now) my parents and I stopped by the farm to see who was occupying our former abode. Mary-Ann and her family had taken up those reins, and she gave us a tour of the grand and modern metal barn they had built to board more horses. She lives their no more, but an equestrian co-op now leases that land, and it’s caretakers live in the house. “Lords” and “Ladies” roam it’s grounds now, with there majestically beautiful beasts.
I’m glad that house still stands, as opposed to being bulldozed, and new characterless homes built in it’s stead. Horses still walk it’s acres, and boots still tread it’s ground. Money just can’t buy the stories, and the memories that are hidden within that house’s four walls; are whispered through it’s trees; and are carried away with muddy boots and horses hooves. There’s just something about that old farm house, and those memories will always be absolutely priceless.
“Then I saw heaven opened, and there before me was a white horse. The rider on the horse is called Faithful and True, and he is right when he judges and makes war. His eyes are like burning fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him, which no one but himself knows. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in fine linen, white and clean, were following him on white horses. Out of the rider’s mouth comes a sharp sword that he will use to defeat the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will crush out the wine in the winepress of the terrible anger of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his upper leg was written this name: KING OF KING, AND LORD OF LORDS.