Solstice to solstice
With the help of my beautiful mare, I’ve learned how important it is to be in the right place at the right time.
After more than 13 hours on the road, the trailer carrying Marah, my halfAndalusian mare, from Houston to Lubbock, Texas, arrived at close to midnight on June 21, 2013, the summer solstice. Her arrival on this day felt like a sign, for it was on the solstice exactly seven years earlier that I knew definitively that I was pregnant with my daughter, Sophie. That connection might seem like a stretch at best, but it’s important to me: I had come to horses and to riding only after I had a miscarriage the previous August.
Before all this, back when I still thought I would have a second child, Sophie rode a horse for the first time. It was a sunny July afternoon in London’s Hyde Park when we found the stable tucked into a quiet cobblestone street, a remarkably wellpreserved window into a much
PATHFINDER: earlier time when horses, and not cars and buses, filled the streets. The ride cost an exorbitant amount, and initially I resisted, despite Sophie’s tearful pleas. Then we found ourselves on a street corner at the edge of the park, and an elderly, sportily dressed woman turned around and said, “Why is your daughter crying?”
“Because she wants to ride a horse through the park,” I replied, expecting the woman to side with me. Many friends, not to mention my own mother, said I indulged Sophie too much.
“Oh, you must let her,” the old woman said. “And tell them that Lilo Blum sent you.” “Lilo Blum?” I asked, studying her. “That’s right. I used to run the stables back in the day,” she said.
And so, outfitted in a velveteen riding helmet and rental boots, Sophie climbed into the saddle of a Palomino horse named Button who walked calmly into the park,
The author describes taking care of Marah as one of “the most challenging and possibly most rewarding experiences of my life.”