The first time I heard the voice, I was standing in a field with my back to the sun as sweat dribbled down my face. I had eight subjects within my given sight; two of which pricked my interest. The first was a palomino colored gelding with a coat so golden he looked like a vanilla Oreo and his long, thick cream colored mane flowed nearly down to the top of his leg, while his tail touched the ground. His rump was covered in dapples, and his face had a blaze that started out between his nostrils, and drove in a thin line all the way to between his big brown eyes. His back left foot was covered in a white sock that looked so perfectly lined like he stuck his foot in a bucket of white paint.
The other was a beautiful bay mare with a reddened brown coat and a jet black mane and tail. Her tail was not nearly as long as the gelding’s, but it was long enough to flap at the flies that landed on her. She had a small white patch near her left nostril, and her legs were covered in black—the normalcy with any bay horse. She was rather large, standing at no less than 16 hands high and she was a stocky build—quite the opposite with the gelding.
These two had stuck out to me because though the small herd kept in close proximity of one another, these two still kept to themselves at a distance, which made me wonder why. As the mare would graze so to would the gelding, but when one of them would stop, so would the other. Sometimes when the gelding would let out a snort and start prancing, the mare would do a little hop or two and then stop as if to say, “Wait, why are we doing this?” It was fun to watch them interact with one another.
As the sun continued to beat down on me, turning my already darkened skin to another darker shade, I continued to splatter some life into the horses that would otherwise lay motionless upon my canvas.
Then I heard the voice say “Go.” I stopped, and turned slowly around expecting to see some farmer with a gun pointing at my head mad that I ignored the yellow sign with big bold words stating “Warning: no trespassing,” but to my relief nothing but a rustle of the grass and the whistling of children voices in the distance was there. “I’m imagining things,” and I turned back around to continue my work.
“Go, my child,” this time it sounded like the voice of my mother; she had passed away six years prior from cancer speckled lungs.
“What do you mean?” I questioned the wind as it tussled my hair into my face. A few seconds pass, but it feels like minutes.
“Go. Your time is now.”
“I’ll go, but in a few minutes.” I say as I silently question myself and my sanity.
“The window can only be opened so far.”
“But…I’m not…I’m not ready.”
“Go. You are.”
I look down at my painting, it was only halfway finished. My gelding was mostly done, and my mare only had her head started. I was a little shaken knowing my mare would never be able to shake her mane, and that the gelding’s tail will never be able to slap at flies that land on him, but I knew I had to go. As I started getting everything put back in my bag, the gelding was looking at me, while the mare was slowly approaching me as if she had just noticed that I was intruding on her territory. The gelding snorted and pawed at the ground, not sure on how to cope with the mare approaching the stranger. She edged closer to me, and blew out a large snort as she sniffed my outstretched hand. Then she pressed her nuzzle into my hand, and allowed me to scratch her white patch and slide my hand from her forelock down. After a few strokes, she nudged my hand away, as if to say “You better get going.”
“Thank you.” And with that, I turned around and left, and not once did I look back.