I had never been on a horse before, and there I was–the magnificent beast towering above my 5th grade face–frightened and nervous and ridiculously excited.
I still don’t know why my teacher selected me to ride with her that day. I’d like to think it was because I had impressed her with my poetry.
With a little help, I was in the saddle and feeling the fear and freedom of my new vantage point. My teacher led me and another student on a gentle ride through a wildflower speckled meadow, and my confidence grew with each powerful step.
When she started to trot, I was petrified and exhilarated, hanging on for dear life, a smile on my face as wide as that glorious meadow. It was one of those don’t-know-whether-to-laugh-or-cry moments, and I laughed.
The adventure completed, I dismounted on noddle legs, adrenaline still surging through my little frame. Ms. B handed me a large brush and I groomed as much as I could reach on my patient new friend, looking into his soulful eyes whenever I could and feeling a connection I had never before felt with a non-human.
I have dreamt of flying several times in my life, and if I could choose a frivolous superpower, it would be flight. My gift of flight on the back of my first horse that day was as close as I may ever come to realizing my dream.