We travelled out of the country for winter getaways four years in a row. One year at the International Customs screening, we became separated. Tony passed through ahead of me and disappeared around a partition. I didn’t pass the inspection though; there was a bottle of wine in my carry-on bag. “You can’t take this through,” said the officer. “I’m going to want this at the other end” I told him, “it’s a long journey.” When the officer said I had to go back to the check in counter and add it to my other luggage, I panicked. “My husband has just gone through ahead of me, he has Alzheimer’s disease. Somebody needs to find him. Now.” My sister, who was travelling with us, appeared as if by magic from the other side of the wall, “I’ve got him!” Our travel days ended.
During the flight home I recalled a recent posting on Facebook™. It was the photo of a proud equestrian astride her new mount. The caption read, “This one’s for you, Mom”. It was a flashback to the woman’s childhood years as an accomplished rider. The pose and poise led me to think about the skills required in keeping one’s seat through every movement and change of pace. Despite humans being two-footed rather than four, there are similarities – in particular the change of gaits.
Some thoroughbred racehorses spring out of the gate with a pent-up adrenalin rush, and reach their maximum speed in a few short seconds. Other horses are trained to mete out their energy and hold out for an endurance run rather than a sprint.
No matter whether we walk, trot, canter, or gallop—it’s important to keep our eyes forward and ears pricked for markers that signify the progress of the race.