I write while I’m driving.
I write in my head. Gotcha, didn’t I? I promise I have both hands on the wheel and not a pen. But I do have specific “wordless” CDs that I’ve burned with my favorite music from scores, and I watch scenes unfold in the landscape around me. Some people might call that schizophrenia, but I call it… makeshift role play.
I also have a Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron CD in my car. (Blast from the past alert! Anyone know what I’m talking about?)
I only have to listen to the instrumental in the beginning to get choked up. I can remember exactly where I was on the Sunday after The Awful Thursday when I lost Blue. I was driving to the barn to see Snowdy. (I thank God for Snowdy daily. Without him, Blue’s death would’ve completely devastated me.) And all of a sudden, a fierce wave of grief choked me. I let myself feel every bit of it, because if I stifle my emotion, I also suffocate my ability to write.
Blue gave me a lot of firsts.
My first fall.
The first horse I cared for all by myself.
The one who let me practice giving (over and over again) a shot in a horse’s neck. (There may never be a more patient horse than Blue.)
The first horse to partner with me winning three blue ribbons and a championship (Blue liked to live up to his name).
And then, there were more real-life firsts…
When I galloped Blue for the first time, I imagined it over and over again while I wrote scenes of Chase galloping through Agalrae.
I got my first job (to keep Blue, of course).
Blue was the first one I cried to when I was completely cut off from my long-distance best friend as a young teenager (don’t worry, that first had a happy ending).
I learned to paint model horses with pastel dust, and painting Blue’s bay coloring was the first color I mastered.
Blue was the one to lend me his strength the first time I got my heart broken two days before my eighteenth birthday, and I had to make the phone call to my family saying, “All celebrations are off because I can’t handle it.” (Sorry, that first didn’t have a happy ending.)
Blue was always, always the first to hear about my day.
I started my first “big girl” job this week. I’d say this is one of the firsts where Blue hasn’t been here, but that’s not entirely true. I can feel Blue nearby when I hear that song I mentioned earlier. Yes, it’s sad. But there’s also a turning point where Spirit (the horse in the movie) lifts his head and keeps going. When I lost Blue, I asked Jesus, “Will you please give Blue a big, fluffy stall right next to your white horse?”
Every time I start to really miss Blue, I get an impression in my spirit. “Sydney, Blue doesn’t want you to be sad for him.”
And I lift my head and keep going because that’s the truth.
Do not despise the small beginnings. Great things are full of firsts.