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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

If I were to write a novel....

Farside
Last night Farside was lifted from the world of the seen, into the world of the unseen. I did not awaken yesterday sensing that the day would be filled with heartrending decisions. I did not envision holding Farside’s proud Arab head in my arms, stroking his neck, running my hands along the length of his still body. Nor did I know when I awoke yesterday that my corral friends, Farside’s human herd, would gather around us during a twelve-hour vigil, or that Dominica, the big white warmblood who has been Farside’s closest companion for seven years, would come to touch noses and bid him adieu. In the end, five women were with Farside and me—offering strength, solace, prayer. “You were his life blessing, Page,” Sheri said. “Send him to the love and light.”  

Farside and Tripp, Wyoming
Before Farside came to live here with me in these green mountain pastures, he and Sheri traveled over 4000 competitive trail miles together—in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico.  In the last few years, Farside and Tripp, Sheri’s endurance horse, traveled to Wyoming for our annual Literature & Landscape of the Horse Retreat, sharing adventures in the river bottom country of the Medicine Bow Mountains.  Last spring, Sheri’s friends gathered around her as she blessed Tripp to the light, wishing him bon voyage. I envision Tripp there in the world of the unseen now, waiting for Farside…

Farside, Page, Matt
If I were to write a novel about Farside and the life we shared, I would include a chapter about the wedding day he carried me on his back to the mountain meadow where John and our community of friends and family waited, yellow wild flowers braided in his mane and tail, his coat shining from the bath Sheri and my daughter had given him, my son walking alongside us.

Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon
Read Denver Post article
I would want to write about our adventures in Wyoming, and here in Colorado on these mountain trails. Perhaps I would write a scene where Farside gives pony rides during the community’s July 4th picnic. And of course, a scene close to the end of the story out in the pasture with his horse herd and a photographer from The Denver Post clicking away trying to capture the mystery that was Farside.

Farside by Sybil Hill
I would include a scene from last Sunday, when John and I ventured into the high Colorado mountains, crossing the Continental Divide enroute to an art gallery at Beaver Creek. In this scene, we would meet artist Sybil Hill, a painter of iconic horses, and she would give to me a portrait of Farside. We would hug and talk about how handsome and gentlemanly Farside was, how he always greeted me with a nicker.  John would tuck the painting safely in the trunk of our car and later, at home, I would carry it from room to room, imagining where we would hang it. The final scene might show me lighting a candle the next night and sitting on the floor beside the painting, as only hours earlier I had knelt beside Farside, cradling his head in my arms.

Yes, if I were to write a novel, I would include all these scenes. And from them would emerge a grand design, a mysterious and destined love, a blessing from the highest hill in that unseen world. Some readers might scoff at the coincidental timing of the events of the last weeks shared by this woman and this horse. But others would recognize the symbolism arising from the synchronicity. They would turn the last page of the book, and slowly—gently—close its covers. And the love would live on.

26 comments:

judy said...

Sensitive, beautiful tribute.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, Page. So sorry to hear about Farside. Thanks for sharing what you felt - know that I am watching the snow fall and thinking of all our faithful companions who have gone to the light. My Dia de los Muertos altar is still in my entry. I will drink a small shot of tequila in Farside's honor. Love, D

Kit said...

Hi Page—

So sorry for your loss! What a great tribute.

Kit

Jan said...

Page, That’s beautiful. Is this a creative example of how you might start a novel or something that just happened near and dear to your heart? Jan

Ginny said...

Oh Page, what a wonderful tribute to Farside. You’re right, there are no coincidences in life. I know Tripp and Farside are together and that is comforting. I’m grateful that your friends were there to support you during this difficult time.

Ginny

Corinne said...

My deepest condolences... what a beautiful eulogy.
What a blessed life you had together for the time he was with you.
Hugs,
Corinne

Chad's mom said...

Page, I'm so sorry to hear about Farside...it brought tears to my eyes and I felt your sadness and gratitude in my heart. What a beautiful tribute! Jan

Eliza Cross said...

My heart aches with yours, Page, and I'm so sorry. Your beautiful words to honor Farside made me cry. May he rest easy, and may his love and light continue to shine for all who loved him. Hugs...xoxo

LuAnn Braley said...

A beautiful send-off for a treasured companion and family member. It helped me to read this and soothe my own troubles. Thank you.

Deborah Nielsen said...

I am so sorry for your loss, Page. Our companions leave us far too soon no matter how long we've had the pleasure of their company. What a loving tribute.

The Ordinary Horse said...

Page, my eyes are blurred from tears as I type. I am so sorry. Your tribute was so tenderly written. I'm honored that I got to meet Farside and ride beside you and him a few times surrounded by that glorious Wyoming landscape. Our horses connect us to a very spiritual and present part of ourselves that only horse people are blessed to be acquainted with. I believe they bring forth our best and truest parts. I'm sending you much love, healing energies and courage that you know Farside would want you to have going forward in your days. Be strong, but allow the grief, and the ache of missing him. xxoo --Sarah Ray

Sue said...

Page, I just received and read about your loss of Farside. Your words moved me to tears. I am so sorry, it does tear apart our hearts when we lose a beloved friend. If you do write that novel it will be your treasure of memories.

Warm regards,
Sue

Rae said...

Sympathies and Blessings to you in your loss, Page. Your loving tribute to Farside is truly moving, and of course beautiful. I remember him well!
Be good to yourself,
Rae

Patty said...

Hello Page,

I wanted to tell you how sorry I am about the loss of your horse Farside. You write about it so eloquently it had me crying because you made him so real to me.
We have listed your Peru trip on the ILCW calendar, not sure if you saw it there. I would love to join one of your trips one of these days.

Thank you Page, keep up that beautiful writing.
--Patty

Deborah H. said...

Dearest Page,
So, so sorry to hear of the death of your beloved horse.
Today would have been the 60th birthday of my husband, Daniel, so I know about grief. And yet, you are so right; all that ever remains is Love.
Always,
Deborah

Connecting People with Nature, and Writers with Words said...

Eliza thank you for these kind words. Love to you. Page

Connecting People with Nature, and Writers with Words said...

Eliza thank you for these kind words. Love to you. Page

Shari said...

My deepest sympathies, Page. I know Farside was a big part of your life, now he is an even bigger part of your memories! Write the novel, I will read it. Shari

rangewriter said...

Do write that novel. You have the outline. The writing will help heal the hole left by the missing nicker. It's so hard to say good bye to these incredible beings.

Anonymous said...

Dear Page,

I just read your piece about if you were to write a novel. I'm so sorry to learn of Farside's passing on. But what a beautiful way for him to depart, with your love and attention and that of your friends, and Dominica giving him a last "farewell." How absolutely beautiful.

And that your "final scene might show me lighting a candle the next night and sitting on the floor beside the painting, as only hours earlier I had knelt beside Farside, cradling his head in my arms." Gosh, that brought tears to my eyes...so tenderly and sensitively put.

A special pal now departed. A special pal whose life, I get the impression, was enhanced by being part of your life. And your life having been enhanced by having him in it...to have even carried you to your marriage to John! How really special!

But, again, my condolences on the loss of such a special part of your life.

Kaye said...

I send you a hug. Thank you, Page, for the generosity of sharing this with us. You went beyond writing a novel, you wrote a love poem regarding the love, respect, and quality of time you and Farside shared. May you sometimes see him reflected in the sunsets, hiding in the white puffy clouds that float across the Colorado skies, and always feel the love when you gaze upon the beautiful painting whether you literally or symbolically light a candle.

Elspeth said...

Dear Page: Beautifully written. I am so sorry to hear about Farside. He will live on in your heart and your words for ever. Our horses touch a place inside that no human who has not loved a horse, can fathom. They teach us and guide us in amazingly wonderful ways. Thank you for sharing your grief and your love for Farside. How lucky you both are to have found each other!

Shana Gray said...

Oh, Page. My heart breaks and tears are in my eyes <3

Cherrie Moore said...

" And the love would live on...." Beautiful tender tribute to your friend and companion. I did not know Farside but through the gift of your words I feel a little richer for having glimpses of his life. I do hope you someday write his story...what a beautiful story it is.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Page -- I came over from the RMFW blog to pay you a visit and scroll through your posts. This one brought tears to my eyes. I think there should be a novel about Farside.

Page Lambert said...

Patricia, thanks for visiting from RMFW, and yes, I should write a novel about Farside. I included him in an essay the Peaks, Plateaus and Canyons Association asked me to write for their 100th year anniversary of the Park Service issue, but that was nonfiction. I still miss him terribly.