Early last week, before I switched to the daytime feeding routine, Rick and I were where we usually could be found all summer around six or six-thirty – at the pasture.

It had been an overcast day and we were running late, so darkness was already bearing down on us. I wondered if the horses had given up, because they were nowhere to be found.

Rick took care of getting the feed pans set up and I headed out across the pasture. I saw most of the other horses in the general herd tucked in the shed, gathered at the water or hanging out under the trees. I couldn’t see our little herd of oldsters anywhere.

The back pasture was taped off, so I figured they weren’t there.

Wrong!

Somehow they’d found a way past the tape. At the very far end of the pasture, any farther and it would have been the northern edge of Denver, I found Bud, Pepper, Red, Amigo and Baby. Pepper was first to see me. She raised her head, took one look and immediately started her trek toward the car and her dinner. The others quickly followed.

Here’s where the miracle comes in.

When Pepper, our twenty-eight year old, arthritic mare got to the makeshift taped off fence, she jumped it! Yes it was only about two feet, but she cleared it like an Olympic champion. It was instinctive, fluid and a thing of beauty to see. I wish I had taken my camera so I could show you.

I was stunned. I stood for a moment with a huge lump forming in my throat and tears glazing my eyes.

She jumped!

I felt surprise, pride, and after the fact, fear. She could have caught her foot and gone down. And with her advanced age and arthritis, well, I can’t even go there. Of course I did that night. It scared me big time.

Red jumped. Amigo jumped. Then Bud and Baby got to the fence and lurched to a stop. No jumping for them. I think Bud’s eyesight stopped him. And Baby’s lack of experience kept her from jumping. I held the tape up and Bud ran under. Baby would have none of it. She was spooked and decided to blast through the darned thing, kind of like the children’s game of Red Rover.

All five horses were fine. On the other hand, I was a mess. Adrenaline coursed through my body. It was getting darker as I tromped back to the car. I was playing a mental version of the what if” game. What if one of them got hurt? What if they had spooked and I got hurt?

Then I stopped and a beautiful sense of peace replaced the “what if’s.”

Pepper had her moment of glory and it felt like a miracle, albeit a tiny one. Then again, with miracles, who cares if they are large or small?

Fast forward to last night.

I perched on the edge of the couch waiting for the frittata I was cooking for dinner to set up, and watched the amazing rescue of the last four of the thirty-three Chilean miners.

My God, what a story!

Again I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. This was such a heroic effort by so many people. I can’t even imagine what it was like for the miners, for their families, for the men working to drill through all that rock. And then that solitary twenty-minute ride to the topside.

I think the world desperately needed some good news. I know I did.

This story, this rescue, this miracle was exactly what we needed. It reminded me that despite terrorists, bombings, bank failures, foreclosures, and this nasty, attack-ad election cycle we’re in, we CAN still count on each other. When the chips are down, we will come through.

These days I’m grateful for every single miracle – large like saving thirty-three men from being buried alive, and small like a sweet old mare once again jumping a fence.

All I can say is “Thank you!”

 

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