Sugar Cubes, Cowgirl Boots, and Dreams Come True

For Mary-Ann Towsley: horse trainer, rider, and, most importantly, my Grandmother.

I sat on the wooden mounting block, elbows on my knees and my chin in my hands. I watched the three noble creatures each earn a sugar cube from their trainer – no – their friend.

Grandma patted each horse on the nose, and they surrounded her, nuzzling her neck, watching over her like strong, silky guardians.

I looked at the scene and no longer saw my Grandmother. I saw a young girl, her head full of dreams. And, in her dreams, she was ropin' and ridin', a free-spirited cowgirl. She dreamed of horses, hats, and saddles. She dreamed of stables, boots, and, of course, handsome cowboys. I saw the wistful look in her eyes, and the determined set of her mouth. I saw a girl with many dreams. A girl with a fierce determination to get them.

But, in a blink, there was my Grandmother again. I no longer saw a girl, but a woman. A woman whose wildest dreams had all come true.

My thoughts were interrupted as the horses trotted over to me, in search of more treats, no doubt. I smiled slightly, with one corner of my mouth, as I held my hands out to them, proving that I had no sugar. I let them lip my fingers for a moment before I gently pushed them aside, sending them once more around the arena.

I looked back at the woman in the center of the slightly muddy oval arena. Yep, still my Grandma, no more little girl. But, I could still see the wistful look in her eyes and the determined set of her mouth.

If I tried really hard, could my dreams come true, just as my Grandmother's had?

I watched theanimals canter by, kicking up sweet-smelling dirt, and leaving the musky scent of horse behind.

Yes, I believe they could.