Sometimes I need to remind myself that even as we labor to gather, document, and conserve the history of our generations past, we must also remember to preserve the people and images of today. Family history is happening.
It was with this in mind that I chose the image for today’s blog post: Our daughter, Olivia, with Zane, her Welsh pony. In the summer of 2004, Zane was twenty years old, and stood about 12.1 hands. Livy was eleven and just a bit taller. Livy was a quiet, profoundly layered child, and Zane a good listener. It was a good fit.
The summer of ’04 was hot and dry, at least by Oregon standards. Every bootstep across the fairgrounds sent a little cloud of dust puffing out from under your heel, and the water hoses behind the 4-H barns were flowing non-stop – kids were giving their horses second and third baths just for an excuse to play in the water.
Throughout the week of fair, Livy competed in both Western and English classes, and even earned a Championship ribbon for English Walk-Trot. There were other wins and other ribbons, but I don’t remember them all now. (It’s astounding had quickly history can fade!) The picture here was taken on the afternoon of Showmanship trials, long after ribbons were handed out and hair was let down.
There is another image like this one, taken earlier in the day – one in which Livy is smiling, bright and combed, and Zane is standing square, head up, eyes dancing. And while it is a lovely picture, it is this image that holds my memory: this singular bond of girl and horse – this tie that will be never broken. He will always be her first love, and she his girl. A moment in our family history? Yes. But also, a portrait of the infinite, enduring threads that weave the fabric of our lives.