I was introduced to sixteen-year-old Minnie Marks on the blog called A Mermaid in the Attic. I was so blown away I had to throw together a post to share the discovery.
Oh to be 16 with so much talent and... I'm searching for the right word without being patronizing. I would say from her outfit she has a sense of humor and playfulness and gutsiness.
I like it.
At that age, I was hiding in the band practice room at lunchtime so I didn't have to try and find someone to sit with in the lunchroom. Talk about shy and terrified of my own shadow!
I really wish I hadn't wasted so much of my life being afraid. And regrettably, I'm still struggling.
With my birthday approaching this week, one of my sister's brought this poem to my attention:
When I am an Old Horsewoman
When I am an old horsewoman
I shall wear turquoise and diamonds,
And a straw hat that doesn’t suit me
And I shall spend my social security on
white wine and carrots,
And sit in my alleyway of my barn
And listen to my horses breathe.
I will sneak out in the middle of a summer night
And ride the old bay gelding,
Across the moonstruck meadow
If my old bones will allow
And when people come to call, I will smile and nod
As I walk past the gardens to the barn
and show instead the flowers growing
inside stalls fresh-lined with straw.
I will shovel and sweat and wear hay in my hair
as if it were a jewel
And I will be an embarrassment to all
Who will not yet have found the peace in being free
to have a horse as a best friend
A friend who waits at midnight hour
With muzzle and nicker and patient eyes
For the kind of woman I will be
When I am old.
-By Patty Barnhart
Originally published in The Arabian Horse World magazine in l992
When I read this poem, I loved the idea of being that horsewoman, but then I remembered that I no longer have a barn and horses in my backyard and I felt a little sad.
Can I not be that woman that I had pictured in my mind being for so long? So often I have had to revamp the dream ideal in my head, the person I thought I would become, the kind of life I would have. But no matter the trappings, the core is there and what I think is this:
Now that I'm an old horsewoman
Or old woman in general
I shall wear whatever I damn well please
Be it overalls and rubber boots
Or a skin tight "Kiss my ass" t-shirt
I will sneak out
In the middle of the night
In my summer PJ's
With a glass of Bonterra
(My favorite organic Cabernet)
I will stare at the moon
And listen to the owls
What they say
I will make my home
A fantasy farm
With a prairie
Instead of a lawn
(Take that suburbia!)
With dogs, cats, and chickens
And gardens up the wazoo
I will be completely inappropriate
And smile slyly at the "looks"
I will laugh loudly and obnoxiously
With all my teeth showing
Even the shiny gold crowns
I will rejoice in dog antics
Luke's catch me if you can games
My friends stories and adventures
And all the crazy, zany bits of life
I will trail ride until my hips groan in despair
Then I'll pop a few Advil
Cross my legs over the front of the saddle
And ride on some more
I will hike with my dogs
On hilly, rocky paths
Even if I now require a walking stick
I will sing "Hit Me with Your Best Shot"
In my raunchiest voice
Even if no one is hitting
Yes, I will be an embarrassment to some
But that's just part of the fun
I will do what I long to do
And dare to say what I should
And maybe also what I shouldn't
I will find voice and images
For the things that burn
Deepest in my heart