O’ where is my beloved? He is nowhere to be found. I searched for him in the pastures but could not find him. My heart is faint.
On a very cold day, I had my boots on and, like magnets drawing to steel, they took me to Hidden Hills Ranch. As I drove up the gravel road toward the barn, my tears were welling up in my eyes. I needed my Love. I had a lot to talk over with him. I needed Smokey. I wonder if he needed me too.
I was ready to fall into his love when all of a sudden I saw his empty stall. No matter, I was glad that he was allowed to roam the pastures. It was a cold day but I was willing to find my Love. I knew he would be blanketed in his maroon or his green coat and would be easy to spot. As I walked along the first cold trail I saw ice in the puddles and my ears began to burn. My fingers were chilled… but it didn’t matter. Soon, I would warm them in Smokey’s velvet coat and let my warm tears fall on my cheeks. I couldn’t let them fall until I was with Smokey. Only he would understand.
I looked out at the herd of horses and only one was dark like Smokey. But he was wearing a blue coat and he had a shorter face with a longer star. That was not my Smokey. This horse also had two socks that went up his legs pretty far. Still, the horse intrigued me as he curled his left front leg and posed for me as if he were bidding me to come to him.
“My love is for Smokey,” I tried to tell him telepathically through my thoughts. He kept the prancing hoof going up and down to get my attention. Even if I needed Smokey, I can’t say no to a horse that needs lovin’. I realized as I went over that there was an electric fence and I did not want to take a chance on causing a jolt to the horse. He was smart though and did not lean over for me. Instead, he walked over to where the gate was. I followed because I was still trying to look for Smokey far out in the pasture.
I didn’t see Smokey, but this stranger horse who wanted my love was knocking at the gate. He was taking a hoof and tapping the gate and taking his other hoof and doing the same. He was not going to rest until he had my love. I went to pet him, but I was on a mission to find Smokey and it was getting colder. The cold air started to burn on my face and hands. I headed to another pasture to find my Smokey Love.
As I kept walking I thought I would surely warm up and I loved the fact that I was getting exercise. I walked briskly to the next pasture and I was not sure that I would be able to stay too long once I found Smokey. But then, I knew I would stay long enough… I had a lot to tell him. I needed him and I wondered if he needed me too.
After searching the second pasture and not seeing my Love, I began to get frantic. The cold was biting and I wanted to head for my Jeep but I couldn’t give up until I found Smokey. Would I walk to the ends of the earth for him? Would I brave the bitter cold for him? Yes. It didn’t matter how far he was or how cold it was.
Just then, I saw a friend (who I believe must be as horse-crazy-in-love as I am to be out on such a cold day). I asked her if she had seen my Love. She pointed to the far pasture near the entrance of the ranch and said he may be there. I headed that way, and as I approached what used to be a trail to get to that pasture, it was gone and grown up. Since the April 27th tornadoes of 2011, the ranch has changed drastically and it isn’t the way it was when I used to frequent it many times a week. Now that I only get out there on occasion, it is hard to know where to go. I came to Tara’s new house and did not want to walk through her property where she built her new home on the ranch, but I wasn’t sure how to get to the other pasture and I didn’t see any horses in the pasture behind her even if I could find a way to get there.
My ears were frozen, I couldn’t feel my toes and my fingers were aching. But none of that matched the ache I had in my heart. I headed back to my Jeep when I didn’t see any other herds of horses that may have Smokey with them, but I walked slowly even through the cold and biting wind.
I still looked out far into the other two pastures just in case he was there, but I did not see my Love. My heart was broken and the tears that I was holding back had now drowned my heart. It would have to be another day that I would try to visit with Smokey – but I needed him. I had a lot to tell him and I wonder if he needed me too.
~ Jen Jeffrey