Each trip to Aiken brings a resurgence of community, and a reminder of how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to experience something I love every day. One of the many aspects that I adore about this community is the inclination to be social. People are eager to get together, to reach out, and to share in their recent adventures.
Back home, I find it’s easy to alienate myself at our property. And although I welcome many wonderful faces to our farm, and I visit even more great people daily, I find it’s easier to be social after a day’s work in Aiken then it is at home.
Today, I met a childhood friend for lunch. We had grown up together riding spotted horses and laughing hysterically at peculiar things.
Years have past, and yet we always find a way to reconnect. She is the type of person that radiates sunshine even on the greyest of days, that immediately brings warmth to your heart and is a source of light-hearted laughter simply from the joy of seeing her. And now, she and her husband are expecting their first child later this year.
As we sat across the table from one another, and I fought the temptation to stare at the roundness where a life was growing (this absolutely perplexes me), I realized – she had grown up. Indeed, we had both grown up. As this revelation settled with me, I couldn’t help by ask – When did that happen?
Memories of the many years – decades – that had past since our early friendship flew through my mind like slides of a picture show. Time passes so quickly, and changes us. Yet there we were, friends laughing as we always have, and discussing interests and experiences that have evolved from the favorite music groups and shocking revelations of young girls to the interests and adventures of women. And yet one thing remains constant – our love of the horse.
Passion is incredible. Whether passed down from our ancestors, or from one experience that hooked us immediately, passion becomes an extension of who we are and who we will become. Children, work, and personal pursuits often guide us down an ever changing path.
Regardless of the twists and turns along the way, the passion that resides within our core can transcend the years, the trials and the experiences that otherwise change us. Even in times where we are unable to exercise our passion, the extension is still there, just waiting to connect. It never dies, and it never fades. It simply waits to be re-awoken. I think this is important to remember, and something I will remind myself of in the future.
My friend’s new family member will be blessed in many ways. He will grow up surrounded by joy, kindness and compassion, and will learn the love of animals. Congratulations! I am looking forward to seeing you both in the barn!