My big brother is a great guy. He is a son, and friend, and brother, and uncle like no other. Big-hearted, devoted, resilient, and lots of fun.
He is a horseman. He has lived in a barn (literally) for years now, getting up early (usually from the couch where he fell asleep watching Nascar the night before) to eat a Twinkie and drink a Mountain Dew and pull on his boots and head into the stalls, where he cares for the horses he knows and loves. Now that's not entirely true, sometimes he eats real food:), but it is a good picture of my bachelor big brother and his modern-day cowboy life. His living room window looks out onto hoof-beaten dirt. His poetry (which he writes, and well) never fails to include a bit of wisdom about horses, and what knowing them has taught him about life.
A few days ago he sent me this picture. I assume he knows this mother horse and her newborn. Every time a new foal comes along, it gets him right in his big, tough-guy heart. The thing is, he said he was sending it to some of his horsemen friends and, I quote, "to a couple great moms, my mom and my sister. These pics will help explain and remind us why we do what we do and why we love doing it." I am the sister he is referring to. He called me a "great mom," and put me in the same category as our own mom. I was so moved that I had to blog about it so I would never forget.
He's right. This beautiful picture does remind me of why I do what I do and why I love doing it.
Years ago there was a mother bird sitting on her nest in a shrubby tree beside my parents' house. There was a terrible rain storm one night that ripped through town for hours. My mom watched as that bird clung to her nest, protecting her eggs, as the rain beat down on her and the winds tossed her branch from side to side relentlessly. In the calm of the morning, my mom looked out and there was that mother bird. She had made it through the night.
So I think about my sweet big brother, and my wise mom, and my own little "foals," and I look at this picture and I remember that bird and I think about my little daughter, who could be 4 days old somewhere right now, sitting on a train in a basket for someone to find her...
...and I remember why I fold Lightning McQueen underwear and scrub cooked-on spaghetti sauce from my stove range until my hands ache.
Thank you, Uncle Kody, for reminding me.