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This week found me back on a horse following a twenty-six year hiatus.

Recollections of my first Virginia home always include horses, dogs, cats, goats, ducks, chickens and the tasks associated with their care. This was not a farm, per se, as slaughter rarely occurred. These critters found their way to Saddle Pond Farm through my mother’s passion and her riding school on Long Island. Although I rarely saw my mother ride, she imprinted this love onto two of her children.

While an adolescent, I endured the horse shows, the fox-hunting, the equitation competitions, to arrive at my truest love—riding alone in the Southwest hills of Albemarle County. There endless beauty prevailed.

As young adult, horse ownership melted into the life of college student, then into the life of an artist, far removed from her roots. Only twice over the decades did I ride—once in Central Park, NYC and then again in the Grand Tetons, Wyoming.

At long last, those distant memories manifested into reality. This week at the invitation of a new friend, I was once again on the back of a pleasant quarter horse in the fields of northwest Albemarle.

One of the last things my mother said to me before she died was, “you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.”

Full circles are just that—they welcome, comfort, reaffirm, and empower.

Have you rediscovered a past love recently?