Traveller



              It`s hard for me to find words. But I am writing because I want to look back 10 years from now and remember exactly how I felt and exactly what I learned through the companionship of Traveller growing up. Since I was 4 years old I remember having Traveller.
My granddad bought and trained him hoping to give his grandchildren a friend and some fun. He named him Traveller, after General Robert E. Lee`s trusted friend and horse. 
              I learned how to ride on Lady, granddad`s other horse, so I don’t remember riding Traveller as a young girl. When I was 6 Lady died and I spent the next few years riding T. Right before I turned 10 granddaddy bought me my own horse, Buckshot. Buckshot and Traveller were inseparable.
              Buckshot was quiet, shy, reserved, scared, gentle, and loveable. Traveller was ornery, stubborn, loud, aggressive, strong, noble, and independent. And what I loved about them was how much I saw my granddaddy in them.
               My Granddaddy is a man I will never, ever forget. And I love how similar my dad is to him. To me, Granddad was the smartest and strongest man I knew. He could grow his own food, provide for his family, fix a truck or a tractor, train a horse, build a house, sing and write. He was educated in every occupation, just from experience. I have so many distinct memories of him teaching me how to do things, especially related to horses. But what I love even more was that beyond his strong, noble, independent character, (and boy could he be stubborn), was his gentle, soft, quiet heart. 
              He would sit with me on his lap and shuck corn for hours. In the morning after we counted the cows, sometimes he would put the truck in park, kill the engine, and we would just sit and watch the cows play and graze. It was often after a long day of bailing hay we would just sit on the tractor and stare at Blue Ridge Mountains from the farm. He loved nature, horses, beauty, and his family.
              As I have aged I have fallen more and more in love with horses, first because my granddad taught me how valuable they are, and second because they remind me of people in my life. The more I spent time with Buckshot and T, the more I learned about my granddaddy, my granny, my dad, and even myself. Each time I have ridden them or just spent time with them, I have been challenged with patience and depth of understanding. Just like I am with people. When I was 15, I lost Buckshot to a terminal disease. He was only 5 years old, just a baby. Granddaddy was the one who comforted me, and somehow knew exactly how I felt, because he had that same experience with his horses. And then I was 17, I lost my granddaddy. He lived a long and full life.
                 And to no surprise, Traveller was the one who comforted me. He missed granddaddy so much; I could see it in his eyes every time I visited him. As soon as I opened the car door and called his name from the driveway, his whinnies filled the air. I loved being with him because he understood my pain and hurts, but also because he reminded me of granddaddy. Sitting atop his HUGE soft back staring out at the Blue Ridges took me back to those days with granddaddy when I was so little. Every time he pushed me with his big nose, or tried to dig for treats in my pockets, I laughed and remembered how granddaddy was stubborn and strong-willed like him. Watching T tear away at the grass with his powerful muzzle, reminded me of days of watching cows grazing in the fields.
                 I will never forget Traveller, or Buckshot, because their memory keeps the memory of my granddaddy fresh on my heart. The things they taught me about loving people, being patience with ignorance, and walking alongside someone else (wherever they are) will stay with me forever.
                 Thank you Lord for Traveller. Thank you for the companion and teacher he was in my life for 16 years. Thank you for the truths I have been able to understand in your word through my relationship with and love for horses. Thank you revealing to me your power to create and sustain every living thing, and your majesty and power I see in the mountains and the sunset each day. Thank you for knowing my heart, knowing I needed them through rough times. Thank you for your perfect and sovereign will.

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