I didn’t say anything to Pam because already, she was being such a good host. And her horse is a great guy, very congenial, very obedient, very willing to do as I asked – he also has a great sense of humor. For instance, when I attempted to teach him to roll a large plastic barrel, he indicated to me that he’d rather push it from the side. He is quite the character.
I was trotting along, and experiencing what Pam rightfully calls his big trot – he has been trained to use his massive hindquarters – and so when he gets going, he sends the rider up into the air. The sensation (or so I thought) is like being on a trampoline. Right then I found myself missing Raudi, who has a small trot. It’s so minimal that I can easily sit it – I go bump, bump, bump. I right then wished that I was again astride her. Then images of all our animals came to mind, which is the various horses, goats, chickens and dogs who inhabit the place Pete and I call Squalor Holler. Then I began missing Pete, and our place. All I could picture was us, going for a trail ride, and the various animals accompanying us.
Thoughts related to being specifically Alaska homesick reminded me of being Rochester, NY homesick. This was the first and the last time this ever happened. This was during my first few days of college. I got wind that my best friend Jacki and my sister Eleanor were going to a downtown library book sale together. What I most wanted to do when I heard about this was to be in their company.
As most college students do, I suppressed my feelings related to being homesick. I didn’t say anything to anyone because I wanted to project a persona that embodied toughness and independence.
I don’t know if I can describe what being homesick feels like. I felt then, as I felt today, mentally despondent and physically drained.
Today, like way back then, I made no overture in the direction of heading back home. Then I had three months of college before winter break, and again being in the company of my friend and sister. And today, I had less than a week before again being in the company of my animals and Pete.
The best thing to do in such instance is look ahead and put thoughts of home out of mind. This, as most of us know is a difficult but necessary thing to do.
98. 4/15/15: And Yet another Conversation with Raudi