happiness

At fifty miles per hour, with the windows down, I can pretend it’s a chilly winter night in South Florida.

A layer of dust covers me from head to toe. It’s probably why I can still hear a tiny voice say “I wanna do it!” It’s probably why I can still remember how it felt to lift her up so she could give grain to one of the horses.

An image of Chevy, hind leg stockings the same white as the moon, standing next to me in the middle of a dark field in a suspended moment between finishing his grain and moving on to hay, fades into the moon, now far above the road lined with palm trees rather than behind the horse I’m coming to love.

My mind wants to wander away to darker places. What if it happens again? What if, all of a sudden, Chevy stops being “mine?” Why don’t I learn? I shouldn’t get attached, even if I lease him. You just never know.

But as I reach a four-way stop sign, a few good miles between the barn and home, the soundtrack to life, blaring through my car stereo, wails:

“Listen to your heart. There’s nothing else you can do. I don’t know where you’re going, and I don’t know why. But listen to your heart.”

I look at the full moon again and the light it radiates pushes back the dark thoughts. Happiness, simple as an animal’s contented sigh or a child covered in dirt, is what I’m feeling. I am happy.

I came home from work to a family that loves me. I walked a couple miles with a dog I adore. I had a lovely conversation with total strangers while I walked with Duke, and then I had more jovial conversation with new friends at the barn. I had a fun and relaxed ride with Chevy.

And there I was, headed back to that loving family, under a beautiful night sky.

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