Wind In My Face – A Blast From The Past

It’s a cold early winter day. The wind feels almost icy on my face. I walk our dogs but my thoughts are somewhere very different. Not here in Australia and not with the dogs. I feel the cold wind on my skin and it takes me back to my childhood. I remember the day so well. It’s one of the days that is so clearly there still. Not a foggy memory. It’s almost like watching a movie.

We are in the back of a valley, it’s winter. I’m riding the white pony of a friend. His fur is long and on the tip of the hairs there are little, tiny ice drops from his sweat. The snow under the hooves crunches with ever step the pony is making. I’m young. I’m not an experienced rider yet. My Dad is there. Right next to the pony, holding on to it. I remember him wearing all black. Black, long and thick coat and a black beanie. We were talking about so many things, things a girl my age care about. We talk about the local ice hockey team. Yes, I still remember this. So many years ago.

So many beautiful moments spent with him and this one is still here. Like a movie I’m watching over and over again. While I walk back home I know I want to share a post I wrote about it once again today. And I know it will be one of the days I will spend thinking about him a lot. Maybe it’s one of the days I will head to the beach. Later today. Sit there and let my mind travel back and “spend some time with him once again”…

It’s cold, everything is covered under a thick layer of snow. The wind is icy, my face feels cold. I’m happy. My Dad is here with me, walking alongside the pony I’m riding. It’s the pony of someone I don’t know but we look after him and I can ride him. I’m not comfortable yet to do it on my own. I’m just about 10. Maybe my Dad is not comfortable to let me ride on my own. Not sure… but he is there with me, holding the pony. And because he knows how much I would love to go faster he starts jogging. And the pony trots. Then my Dad runs faster and the pony starts galloping. I could go on forever like this. I would love to go faster. My Dad in his black winter coat runs as fast as he can for as long as he can. He is in his 60’s. I admire him for doing this. If only he could go faster…

I can see them, up there on the hill, getting everything ready for our picnic. They have taken the bikes to meet me here. My younger brother is not there. He wanted to spend the day with his girlfriend. Teenage boys… My Dad is about to light the fire so we will be able to grill some sausages for our picnic. It’s a beautiful day in fall. The trees have changed their color, the sun is nice and warm. My Mom sees me, all the way down, next to the river me and my horse have just crossed. She waves at me and I know she is ready to take some pictures of me and my beautiful mare, galloping up the hill. And I let her run, run like the wind. And her beautiful long mane touches my face while she flies, her hooves barely touching the ground. I feel free and all I can think is what they say about Arabian horses: Drinkers of the wind…

I can see their silhouettes in the fog, not sure how far away they actually are. Fog does that sometimes. But I see my Dad there, with our dog. I’m glad he took him for a longer walk. He is still so fit for his 80 plus years of age… It’s my little time out, riding my neighbors horse. It’s been a while since I felt comfortable on the back of a horse and not sure if this one will ever give me this feeling. Maybe it’s because of the horse. I don’t feel the connection. Maybe it’s because it’s been a while since I actually sat on a horse. Maybe it’s because I’m more careful now that I’m a new mom. Who knows. It just feels different. Suddenly my Dad is right in front of me. “Beautiful horse. If you want me to, I buy it for you. If it makes you happy?” And he pets my little dog. The answer is no. I know that this horse will never give me what I’m looking for. And I know that my Dad just wants me happy. He would buy the horse for me, if it would make me happier than what I am anyway…

I watch my kids on the back of the horses they are riding. A trail ride we all enjoy. It takes me way back. I see their smiling faces and the excitement when the guide announces that a gallop will come up. I hope they will be safe, wish I could hold on to their horses, running next to them in order to make sure nothing happens to them. As I have the fastest horse in the group it’s my turn to gallop first. Not sure if I should really go and leave my kids behind I hesitate. But then I let her run, the horse I don’t really know but feel so comfortable with. And she flies, flies like the wind, barely touching the ground. I feel free but at the same time also worry about my kids. I wonder how my Dad is doing, knowing how much he would enjoy this too. But he is far away. What if the horses don’t stop at the top? What if they stumble. My horse stops when we reach the top and I turn her around. Just in time to see my kids speeding up the hill. With big smiles on their faces, followed by my husband and the guide. And I breathe a sigh of relief…

My eyes are closed. The sun kisses my face and I feel the wind and it almost feels like sitting back on the horse galloping, wind in my face. This time, though, there is no horse. I’m just sitting there, outside. And yet I feel it. It’s with me, in me, here with me. That feeling for freedom. Everything. I feel the moving of the horse underneath me and the mane in my face. And I feel the wind… and although everything is different it still feels so familiar. The wind in my face, just like a gentle touch, a gently hug from my Dad. As if to say, that everything is fine and will always be…

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4 thoughts on “Wind In My Face – A Blast From The Past

  1. Tears in my eyes, especially near the end, as I think about the times and places I had the most fun with my dad. Reached the conclusion that they often included being in a body of water. My dad has been gone for 12 years now. He was mentally with us all the way till the end, which was at the pretty young age of 75. Had my first child when I wa almost 35 and Dad was 60, though he was already retired. The second one came along less than two years later and they were lucky enough to get to spend a lot of time with their grandpa, my dad, which was mostly quality time, except for those occasions when he would nod off sitting in a chair, reading or watching TV, usually with them. For all that time they had with him, I think my kids might remember time in the water with my dad, too.

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