Wednesday, September 23, 2009


A short while ago I wrote about the sounds that horses make. My favorite and the saddest is the sigh. I have empathy for my horse because I know why he sighs. Though he has a large stall and he can walk outside into a large corral whenever he wants. A corral where his feet don’t get muddy and there is always 35 gallons of cold fresh water. In his stall there is always flakes of good hay to eat. He can go in there when he pleases to get away the heat, rain or insects. In there, he can stay safe, warm, or cool, or dry and well fed and nourished. In the winter he gets to wear a blanket. In the summer he gets to wear a fly mask to keep the flies off his face. His feet are trimmed regularly, and teeth are floated every other year. He gets his shots and visits the vet at least once a year. He gets to spend several hours every day in one of the five pastures we rotate him through.

All of his needs for comfort are met, yet he stands in his corral and sighs. It’s not boredom. It is a small patch of very green lawn just out of his reach that he desires. I’m sure he can imagine how good it would feel to be ten feet west of where he stands. He can probably imagine how good it tastes.

I can relate to him because like all people I have desires, too. I often think about how different my life would be had I done or not done this or that. How much better my life would be if I had this or that. Sometimes I sigh.

I grew up with two parents who lived through the Great Depression. They understood what it was like to have unfulfilled desires and how to make sacrifices. My mother was particularly practical and could come up with a reason not to do something or have something in a second. Her retorts always made sense to me. I remember once when I was about 4 years old I asked her if I could ride the mechanical horse outside of Woolworths. She told me no because other children younger than me have ridden that horse and they more than likely had leaky diapers and I’d be riding on a seat that was soiled with the pee and poop of other children. I was shocked by her answer, but I could envision it and I never wanted to ride a mechanical horse again.

Even today when a desire strikes me I can easily turn to my mother’s voice in my head and find a reason why that which I desire is a bad idea. I still sigh from time to time, but I recover quickly.


Blogger darev2005 said...

Oh yeah. Unfulfilled dreams... **sigh**
Gots plenty of those.
Right now I would just love to breathe through my nose without making a mess.


4:41 AM  
Blogger a mouthy irish woman? ridiculous! said...

your mother was a wise woman.

6:36 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Those people with no brakes on as to desires and wishes fulfilled, no voices in the past to keep them in check – I wonder what they sigh about?

6:45 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I sigh many many times every day. Not for want of unfullfilled desires (most of the time), but because of kids and dogs. Of course, if I didn't have the kids and dogs, my life would be boring and I'd be sighing some more.

1:28 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Darev, that dream will come to be sometime.

Irish, and still is and she's Irish, too.

Beth, Maybe they don't sigh at all...

Amy, don't get me going on dogs. As for the kids you are stuck with them, so sigh away.

5:21 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

GO and visit your mother.

7:00 AM  

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