AshlyA scruffy little ten year old girl’s dream died today.   That dream lived a long life but back then this little girl’s favorite thing to do was to climb up into the attic cubby-hole she had created for herself and day dream about race horses. The attic access was only a two foot square opening in the ceiling of her bedroom closet, but she could shimmy up there without so much as a thought as to how she got her little body into the dark space above her room; she just did it. She had put some poster board up above a make shift desk and every Sunday morning she would take the sports section of the Sunday news to “her secret place”, far from the chaos of brothers and sisters and grumpy adults. By the light of a flashlight that she hung above her desk she would read about the thoroughbreds who ran at the local tracks that week or the prospects who might be good enough to run in the Kentucky Derby that spring. She would cut out photo’s 0f her favorites and pin them up on the poster board. Her passion for these race horses knew no bounds and the dream of owning her own one day was a deep craving. Her grandfather used to smoke a pipe and on his birthday she would make sure she had enough paper route money to get him his favorite tobacco from Kentucky. The company that made that brand ran a “name the thoroughbred foal” contest each year and the winner would get to keep the foal. She entered every year but never won.

Before the growing part of her left High School, that ten year old was pretty much hidden from the view of her changing self, but it didn’t take much to trigger the old cravings for a horse of her own. Several times throughout her adult self’s life that rag tag little girl who loved horses managed to break through and actually acquire and own one or more of these magnificent animals. Perhaps they were not thoroughbreds but she loved them all anyway until she found the horse of her dreams. In time, between the marriages, raising kids, and divorces of her adult self, she found and fell in love with a jockey-club registered, chestnut thoroughbred mare. She was a race horse!  She had won a few races but not enough to stay at the track and she had became a pleasure horse. But her dam’s sire was Carryback and her Sire’s grandfather was Native Dancer and these were names that resonated with the ten year old’s childhood dream. The mare was an elegant animal and the little girl adored her beauty and refinement. They had had many long gallops before the end of their time together. The girl’s adult self took this blessing and made of it a gift to give to others and together they helped many persons reconnect to their authentic selves and sometimes to their souls.

While this gift was impacting others’ lives, the ten year old girl gradually changed as the wounds that caused the cravings slowly healed and she caught up with her spiritual adult self. She understood then why the cravings were so intense and so real and how they transformed into a passion to serve others. She knew then that God’s will created the craving and the skills, the mission, and the result; and gradually she came to understand that she was to pass her work on for others to continue and to say goodbye to her beautiful mare. But the adult was not yet ready to let go of that scruffy little kid. The adult self was fond of her and wanted her to stay so they could play and enchant each other with the wonder of beauty and nature; silliness and the fun things of life, and so they worked out a deal. They agreed to just let go of the mare and direct their passion to loving God and life and each other. They agreed to replace the cravings for feelings of gratitude and fulfillment and joy. They agreed to just love each other and forgive all of the mistakes and misunderstandings. The now mature little girl giggled happily and said she would let that part, (that horse loving dream part), die so that the next space could open up and become filled with something new. God was in all the spaces in-between the tenth year and the 69th year. He was the one who molded the cravings into actions of service to others. His Grace healed the wounds and brought understanding. His Grace carried the little girl into her future safely and lovingly. And God is in-between all the spaces to come.

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