Sanctuary

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Here, luxury takes a on a new meaning. No buildings, no people, no distractions; just us. Each day in the summertime I haul my leather tack down the hay sprinkled, concrete aisles of the barn with shaky arms crisscrossed underneath. When the time comes I prepare myself for gently placing this hunk of leather onto my swayed backed companion. Legs bent, saddle in hand, I swing my arms over his back to thankfully land slowly and smoothly behind his withers. His light brown eyes look back each time, assuring me that he is ready for another trip to our sanctuary.

Everything there is so wonderfully silent. Moving with each meandering stride, we continue our way into the open gates of the long stretch of field. Tall grass sways back and forth, tickling my friend’s hooves as we take in the sun’s rays. I tilt my head back, close my eyes, and let that lone star bring back the warmth I seemed to have lost long ago. Blue birds chirp and sing to one another, leading each other to our same safe haven. Once the star releases its arms around me, I lay my hand down on my friend’s stiff neck, letting it slide back and forth through the soft hair I’ve held for years. “It’s time”

With a light press of my calf, his eyes widen, nostrils snorting. His pace accelerates, one two one two. His trot became faster and faster with legs reaching for the tall grass to wrap their stems around him and blanket his step. The wind picks up, caressing its fingers through his mane, lifting his feet of the ground. “Go,” it whispers. Breaking through the barrier of time, he’s off. Thud, thud goes the hooves that have carried me through everything. All elements that stand between us topple over with every stride we take. We gallop, smile, laugh, forget. I feel the reins sliding through my fingertips as he takes away my fear. His mane is the only secure feeling I have ever held. We’re on a cloud, leading to the gates of heaven. The rock ridden ground disappears into the sky. Leave the past, thoughts, words, everything behind. All that matters are the welcoming arms Mother Nature brings us. Hushing us now, she presses her cheek against us. Taking away ever last doubt, she lets the wind take her love with us as our journey comes to a closing. I open my mouth, letting the innocence of her purity run through my veins. It’s like taking your first breath again, that moment of life and new beginnings. My fingertips stroke his neck. “We’ve reached it bud.” Leaning back, the clouds uncoil their arms from around us, leading us back to reality. His stride wavers, eventually unraveling back into the meandering pace we had started out on. With the reins completely out of my reach I lean over and wrap my arms around his neck. His ears perked forward, letting his muscles relax into my embrace.

“Thank you,” I whisper to him, to the wind, to the birds, to Mother Nature.





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PJD17 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 9, 2011 at 6:38 am
really great work  keep it up i really liked this story   could you please check out and comment on my story Manso's Shame  i would really appreciate the feedback  just type in Manso's for some reason if you type in the full title it doestn come up
 
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