8:22AM Sunday 27 March
(If I had not left at this exact time, I would've missed this lesson.)
Rolling out of town into the German countryside. Two horses, on the road ahead.
I think, someone's out for a ride early. But when I get closer, there are no riders, just free animals. What are they doing running down the road together? One dark, one light. Breath cascading behind them like smoke from an engine as they gallop along the edge of the road, side by side. Should I pass them? I slow down, watching, entranced. The hazy air mixes with their breath, and sunlight glints off their bodies, muscles pumping and limbs flying free. Pure happiness and freedom together. I wonder where they're going. Does it matter? They're going somewhere together.
A black Fiat shows up in my rear view mirror with emergency flashers on. I pull over for them to pass. They follow the horses. We trail them down the road, through the trees. And I wonder which way they'll go once they reach the T-intersection at the bottom of the hill. But they surprise me, and suddenly veer off the road, taking to the fields, running up over a hill and disappearing. The Fiat stops. A bleached-blonde lady in a tube top and shorts gets out, running over the hill, harness in hand, followed by a balding man in jeans with a feed bucket and harness, who's limping. They run up the hill and soon turn back. The horses are not looking back; they have run off together.
I couldn't help but feel happy for them, in their freedom together. I don't know if they will return home, or if they will just go on roaming the countryside. My friend Ivana (who is Czech and English as a second language) said to me a while back, "But sometimes it is good to be free in a pair." Maybe it applies to all of us on earth, humans and animals. And we need not always follow the road that everyone else takes. Sometimes it's good to create your own path together.