My horse is Aladdin’s carpet, transporting me on a magic ride.
He soars like an eagle over the mountain tops up Liebre Peak. Liebre means freedom, and he carries me to freedom each time we ride.
My horse’s canter is smooth as silk, glassy morning air before the wind comes up. Our bodies meld as we soar the trails, feeding my soul.
His flowing mane pumps the air like graceful wings, bringing us higher, deeper – like the eagle – into the freedom of the great outdoors.
I’ve seen an eagle, alone and with its mate, upon several occasions. (Golden Eagle)
At first I thought them to be condors, hanging in the thermals like slow moving formation-bombers, with broad wingspan and hypnotic, deliberate wingbeats. Definitely not a hawk.
Hawks are quick and noble, but the eagle is also grand. Majestic. The sight of one stops your heart and takes your breath away. A symbol of something unobtainable.
You find yourself stopping, staring, drinking in the experience, in an almost spiritual way.
And just when it appears he’s coming your way, he veers, and separates, your neck straining for a better view, like he knew you were there, waiting for him, admiring him.
But he chose a more secret aside . . .
California Condor, soaring, Mt. Pinos range in background (Los Padres National Forest).
As if he knew, without his secrecy, his mystique would disappear, and vanish as quickly as he does.
(Like the mountain lion tracks I saw one January, left fresh in the snow.)
You know so little of his daily regime, but pride yourself in thinking you’ve somehow shared with him, touched him with your fleeting knowledge that he was here.
After all, you saw him soar . . .
“That’s where the mountain lion walked, that thin rut through the brambles is his trail. And he reappeared here, by the downed oak tree, and his tracks ambled westward into the dense underbrush.
“And here is where the Golden Eagle flew. We studied him long and in awe as he soared, hovered, and then folded his massive wings, dove and disappeared – as from thin air.”
Cosmic images forever preserved. Within me. Within this particular spot in the trail . . .
My horse’s hoofbeats thunder beneath me, shouting freedom with every stride.
Sunlight kisses his neck, the same setting sun that reflected on the eagle. It goldens and deepens and captures my gaze.
But my eagle is obtainable.
My eagle doesn’t elude me.
My eagle carries me, like Aladdin, into magical realms, and the tapestry of his flying mane weaves a safety net for my soul!
Copyright 2012, 2020
Photos: Dawn Jenkins
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