It's a busy life, with hardly a moment to take stock - I would think most of us would agree. The paid work, the cooking, the scrubbing, the admin, the children, their activities, the holidays, the term time, the garden and pets. And horses. It's so difficult to fit it all in and hardly a moment to enjoy the fruits - because we all seem to be labouring very hard. A sentence I read in a book last night made me reflect and smile:
"Sometimes you have to turn around, if you keep just looking forward you miss the best views!"
You could argue we should live more in the present, in the now, but looking back gives me so much pleasure, a sense of reading someone else's stories, a different person to who I am now. It fascinates me.
My time in Brazil has come up in conversations about travel and the impending Olympics. I looked at my fading photo's in a drying album the other day, the biro's colour drained as it describes my whereabouts and wild times. An adventure a long time ago with my bezzie, with horses and cowboys, jacaranda trees and enormous toads. A view so incredible that if I had not taken time to turn around it may have faded into deep and distant memories. Always there, but more and more difficult to recall.
Geraldo would grin wide showing the numerous gaps where teeth once used to be. He would start to sing softly as his young horse jig-jogged down the red dust tracks and out of the corral for the day. We all were mounted and prepared for a long day in the saddle, the sun strong, as you would expect it to be in the summer months of Brazil - our heads starting to throb with the intensity almost straight away, the sweat dampens the horses coat and Geraldo makes a cigarette. He does this with such expertise. Although missing a few fingers from drunken mistakes he manages to nimbly roll a piece of ordinary paper and tobacco and stick it all together with sticky-spit - while riding and controlling his young steed. We all smoked as we rode, taking care to avoid the armadillo holes, the rattle snakes and the running emu's. The days work to check the cattle many, many miles away - to disinfect new umbilical cords, to treat wounds, to kill those unable to survive. Hours and hours were spent on the back of a horse that summer, riding to see some cows and riding back again as the sun dipped and toucans flew over head - as Geraldo gently sung his folk songs, the horses listening to the melody, and us all dreaming of our dinner.
*Geraldo on the far right