the jockey


I was a child, probably entering the first grade, when I met him. It was summer and I was by myself in the mountains. None of my cousins were up that week and I spent months at a time with my grandparents during those warm months - after all it was moosehead; the greatest place on earth! I wasn't lost but for some reason I felt frozen and did not know which way to go. See I had just experienced a minor accident for the first time and no one was there to guide me out like all the other times before - growing into independence but not quite independent. 

I heard a child's voice. I turned from my left pivot and with a quick orbit of my eyes, up and over my right shoulder, I found him. His voice was gentile as the afternoon sunlight that shined upon him. He was light with light hair. He wore colors dulled by the sun and they were riding clothes. He appeared as a professional jockey and he was but a few years older than I - perhaps he just hit his double digits. How I longed to hit those double digits! 

He had said hi and I guess my face showed too much shock but how he made me feel was comforting, I just hadn't known anyone was standing there and so close. He asked what was the matter? I told him I did not know how to recover from the state I was in and did not know where to go. He said it happens and you are so close to home. See up there, that's the way to go. Don't be upset, don't cry. I didn't mean to scare you. I asked who he was and he smiled. He answered by telling me he was my cousin. I remember being happy about meeting another one of my clusters of cousins.

He did not lend a hand but his words and energy gave me what I needed to get up and get home. It was dinner time and Nan would be ringing the dinner bell soon anyway.

I went to the MacDonald's cabin often, after that bright sunny day, but I never saw him again. When I mentioned him, no one knew who I was talking about. I decided to just let it go, he did mention that may happen.

- catté