Friday, March 15, 2013

At Loveway Stables

When she was a toddler
Her therapist showed me
How to hold her on an exercise ball
To improve her balance and strengthen her core
But we both quickly tired of that daily chore

For years her orthopedic doctor
Has stressed to her the importance
Of stretching her achilles tendons
That were shortened from birth
By the clubbed feet life dealt her
But lists of rehabilitative exercises
Have always fallen short
Of motivating her little girl's heart
Well-meaning though it is

Her pediatrician has been worried
By the upward trend in her weight
But running in the backyard
Or playing team soccer
Haven't been as appealing to her
As the endless adventures available
From the comfort of our couch
In her library of books

She's been reading about horses
Fanciful tales and factual lists
She's been drawing horses
Sketching them
Painting them
Sculpting them
Filling her bed and her head
Day after day for over a year
With horses

Her face has never lit so bright
As when I told her she could ride
At Loveway stables

She bit her bottom lip
And wiped her eyes
And bounced up and down a little
Because some kinds of joy
Just can't be still

She was a little shaky
With nervous excitement
When she met a gentle brown horse
At Loveway stables

But the volunteer was so kind
So patient and encouraging
That she brushed Shanna
And helped carry the saddle
And lead her horse to the arena

Then the little girl
Who had only wanted
to bury her nose in book after book
Was riding a horse

She was sitting tall
And balancing to strengthen her core
Because the instructor told her
That was the way proper way to ride

She was stretching her achilles tendons
With her toes in the stirrups
And her heels down
Because it gave her better control

She was exercising
And meeting people
And growing more confident
With each task mastered
And with each word of praise

She was excelling at something
Her sisters couldn't
And she was beaming through it all

No words of admonition
No charts of responsibilities
Could work the magic
Of turning the burdens of her diagnoses
Into challenges she is eager to meet
Like the gentle brown horse
At Loveway stables

She has seen too many doctors
And too many therapists
Had too may procedures
And hospital stays
For an eight year old girl

But one hour a week now
Her work is pure joy
Grooming, riding, focusing, bonding
Because there are donors
And instructors
And volunteers
And a gentle brown horse
At Loveway stables

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully said :) How deep is the Father's love for Naomi ~ the care only a Heavenly Father had the ability to give!