Miracles, it seems, are so very rare these days that I cannot ignore the one I experienced on Sunday. It has completely changed my outlook on life.
The miracle — and it was a true miracle, not one of those fakey "Ohmigawd, the lemonade stand kid gave me the correct change this time!" or "What the milk and honey is this?! My pancake looks like Olivia Hussey, who has portrayed both the Virgin Mary and Mother Teresa in movies!" kind of miracles — this was the result of a profound act of faith.
Despite the ravages of time dragging me into middle age, excessive caloric intake loading the pounds onto my frame and a general laziness that has leached strength from my muscles, I swung up on my horse's back unassisted by human hands or any device that would propel me to such a height.
There I was, way out in the pasture and needing to cross the vast 300 yards back to the tack shed to saddle up my horse, when my natural inclination for laziness inspired me to ride the horse home bareback rather than walk, well, trudge really.
The problem was that nary a rock could be found to use as a mounting block, nor a handy groomsman to provide a leg up, so I thought, hey, it's been a few years, but I'm desperately lazy, so let's see if I can still throw a leg up and over this horse's back, so she can do all the work getting us home. I did it on the first try!
A miracle, right?
Ok, it wasn't a Pony Express flying mount with me running alongside my galloping horse and then tapping my feet together against the ground to propel myself into the saddle. But there was no slamming into the horse's side. No sliding slowing down her side to fall to my ribs on the ground. No hooking my heel into her backbone and shimmying and grunting my way to an upright position while the horse danced around in discomfort. Just, shwoop, and I was there, ready to rock and roll.
Admittedly, maybe my miracle is more like a laying on of the hands to cure chronic acne rather than that old parting of the sea thing, but it's miracle enough for me.
Like any good miracle, it inspired a time of reflection, an accounting of one's life and priorities.
Upon careful consideration, I have decided to join the circus.
It's only right that I should honor this miraculous gift I have to launch this much mass five feet into the air by sharing it with the world.
While my colleagues are performing daring feats on the flying trapeze, juggling 20 oranges and a chainsaw, putting their heads in the mouths of large beasts of the wild and cramming the whole clown family into one little car, my horse and I will stand like an oasis of calm at the center of the big ring, bobbing our heads in time with the music. When the final fanfare sounds and the fireworks flare sparks into the air, I'll grab a handful of mane and shwoop up onto my horse's back. Ta-da!
The crowd will go wild. "My goodness, kids," the parents will say to their riotous children who are hopped up on sugar and the bedazzlement of the night. "Did you see that older woman in spandex swing her big behind up onto that horse so gracefully? It's a miracle!"
I'll be modest in my acknowledge of their adoration. This gift is, after all, a miracle not some lame, sideshow-freak act.
(Maybe I should just grow a spectacular beard and set up my own tent on the street corner at http://viewnorth40.wordpress.com.)