August 11, 2009

Wildest Horses


This summer, like the past 10+, our family and another (completely compatible best friend) family loaded our respective family hauling vehicles to the hilt and drove East. We even remembered the children, because this was the first year the oldest was old enough to babysit so the adults could go to a nice dinner alone.

It's the ultimate in suburban escape. Take everything we can haul 500 miles away and bend the environment to meet our needs. Crank up the air conditioning and carry that everything we hauled to the beach. In the past, we owned SUVs and would drive up to the 4 wheel drive beach towards the Virginia line. We ate picnics and shared our space with the wild horses. They flaunted their freedom in the most nonchalant way.

I wrote this tribute to them about 10 years ago.

Wild Horses

Wind blown manes, eyes wild with passion
They gallop.
Waves churn as they walk along the ocean.
The sand, their road.
The dunes, their home.
This is their domain.

Sea meets the land,
Sun meets the earth.
Horses, wild and free,
Without the sad look
In their eyes
Of a domesticated horse.

The legend states,
A man once tried to tame a wild horse.
He lassoed her and took her to his stable.
She missed her sea and sand.
The hay was not the dunes.
The air was dank and stale in his stable.
She couldn't breathe.

Homesick, she missed her friends
who galloped with her.
The horses here didn't understand,
For they had never known.
Never seen the sunrise on the ocean,
Or a starlit night on the beach.

She tried to tell them,
But they only knew of bridles and
Walking in circles.
Saddles on their backs,
Blinders on their eyes.
They don't know.

The wild horse tried to fit in,
But each night,when the day was done,
She would sleep and dream.
Dream of her home by the sea.
One morning the man came to his stable,
His wild horse didn't wake up.

She was smiling in her sleep.

The past few years, development has encroached on the Wild Horse Area. We work harder and harder to find them. Last year, we rented Jeeps for way too much money with a guaranteed map to find the Wild Horses. We found one who looked like he may have been part of a scam to fool the stupid tourists. "TAKE YOUR PICTURE OF A WILD HORSE" sorta thing.

This year, we never even drove up there. We admitted defeat. We admitted that the wild horses were no more likely to find us than we them. We drove them further inland, we stole their beach, their sea, their dunes.

But I remember, I remember the day a wild horse walked up to me at the side of my SUV and whispered, "Does that thing really have more horse power than me?"

I winked at her and whispered back, "Never."

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