Seven breaths in through the nose … seven breaths out. Breathe in …. breathe out…breathe in … breathe out. The rattle shakes… little shards of noise … ching ching ching …. breathe in … breathe out…. ching ching ching ching…. breathe in….. breathe out.
The chestnut horse gallops. I sit behind an unknown Indian who rides with the wind. Black hair flying in the wind …. his head nestles close to the horse’s mane. I only know that he is riding fast through time to take me on a journey that is only in my mind. I ride and hear the rattle shake in time with the footfalls in the woods. I see nothing but his back, the trees, the horse’s head and I feel no wind. Breathe in …. breath out … ching ching … ching ching.
When I awake, I am dressed in pioneer woman clothes. I have a long blue dress with a white apron. Dirty from my chores, my dress is worn and comfortable. I have blond, wavy hair tied back at the nape of my neck and big brown eyes. I am standing next to an empty corral as if I’m waiting for something. I turn and walk into my little house and begin to cook dinner. I pat cornmeal, milk and eggs into a corn pone and put it in a black cast iron skillet for baking. My one room house is clean but rustic. It is not hot, and I know that I’m living in the western United States before the country is settled. I look around for my children but I have none. I get the sense that there should be some, but I cannot see their faces. They may be in the future in this time.
At night, I lay on my straw-filled bed by a gas lantern and read one of the few books I have. My husband comes in and we giggle and talk over the day. I am happy … happy in young love and satisfied with the simple life I live. The lantern flickers on my face, and my eyes shine with laughter brimming over from the inside. I feel the feeling that life is very good.
I am a little girl running in the fields. My head stretches up toward the heavens, and I raise my arms to draw it all in. I start turning in circles and turn and turn and turn until I fall onto the ground in a heap of giggles and dizziness. I am happy, and life is meant to be loved. Breathe in … breathe out … ching ching … ching ching.
The next day I am alone. I walk outside and look at the empty corral. I wipe my hands on my apron and look into the sky. I smile. It is a sunny day and fluffy clouds create shadows in the dust. I giggle to myself about the love I made to my husband last night. The moment touches me. We are young and beautiful. I start to turn around, and an Indian rides up on a dark horse. At first, I feel a chord of fear. He rides quietly and slowly before me. He is alone. We look at each other.
I run … and jump … through the cornstalks. As I near the edge of the field I speed up and run full speed into the open grass. For a moment, I want to look back, but I feel a tiger beside me. Strong and very powerful, the cat circles me, assuring me that I am safe. He says he is here to protect me. I have no need to worry about tomorrow or what has been. Whatever comes will not hurt me. I am free to play…. and laugh … and twirl. Breathe in … breathe out … ching ching ching … ching ching
We don’t utter a word. But I know that he is here to help me. We look at the empty corral, and he motions. I understand that he has horses … horses to fill our empty corral … and we have money to help him buy what he needs.
I am a bond-maker. I create strong relationships… bonds with people that won’t be broken easily. I know it’s my gift in the same way that I know how to breathe. The ability to know another’s soul and touch it in a way that creates instant and lasting connection is mine. My calling in this life is to teach others to connect … to love … to befriend. I have no doubts about my path, and I have the courage and tenacity to follow it until the end of time. Breathe in … breathe out … ching ching … ching ching ching.
I stand by the corral as the horses race in. Life is beginning here. They run in circles against the fence as if they are thrilled to be in this place. I smile. I know that my whole life is before me, and it will be beautiful. I look up at my husband and watch his face fill with the pride of providing for his family we have yet to begin. My heart fills, and I know that life is good … life is very, very good.
Breath in … breathe out … breath in … breathe out … ching ching … ching ching….