Trying to be creative on for spouse’s birthday can be fun, but it can also be terrifying. After 21 years together you start running out of ideas on how to be spontaneous, meaningful and impressive. Her love for horses is unquenchable, but she’s only gotten to ride a couple of times in the past 21 years, regretfully. I couldn’t get her a horse, but I could get her something ‘like’ a horse.
The ‘something like a horse’ was just that; A painting of a horse. A white horse on a big canvas running as if it was going to run straight out of the wall; with eyes affixed on who ever is standing in front of it. This is a cool painting; she’ll love it …what else can I get her? .......a sword (yes! a real sword); a song and poem to tie it all together. This birthday was going to be extraordinary.
Setting my busyness aside, I began again to think of her, who she is and what she is to me. Thinking of the battle with a life threatening disorder when she was merely a child, then after we met, standing together to battle another condition. We listened to a doctor tell us what would shatter the heart of any woman, stating she will be left barren of children from this complication. I watched her rise above even this until it dissipated and vanished. I was with her the three times she bore a child; the last two all natural (that was something to witness). I have watched her since then be there for our family everyday and in every way through every phase; there for her close friends and even not so close acquaintances. She deserved to be honored in a way to make sure she didn’t forget who she was, what she fought through, what she fights for now and what she means to me and the kids amidst the fray of life.
So, here’s how the birthday gifts stack up:
The horse picture is to help keep her dream alive of riding in the face of the wind again and experiencing what she believes in her heart is the closest thing to freedom under the sky.
The sword is heavy and means business; reminding her that strength, courage and the willingness to persevere resides in her heart, and it shows without pretentiousness, without effort, and without ears for the opposing opinion of others.
The poem is in a frame on the wall along with the sword and the horse painting.
Also there are words of encouragement from her lovers heart, written to keep her aware of her value to him, their children and the life they share together.
I recorded "Ride" back then on my 6 string and played it back on a boom box, reciting the poem while she held the horse painting that birthday night. It was spontaneously deliberate, meaningful and she was without a doubt, impressed.
Images of her riding the white horse as hard and fast as it can go across some field of broom sage are with me every time I play it. Maybe she will get a horse someday.