I’ve read tales of wreck survivors who have journeyed to Heaven and back. The common thread between these accounts is that, once having tasted the exquisite joy of Heaven, the survivor realizes that, essentially, everything else sucks.
That is the tale of fox hunting for me… nothing else can compare to the thrill of a grand chase. Horse and Hound have transported me to Heaven. Skydiving is the only activity that can begin to come close to the thrill of fox hunting, but still dims in comparison because 1. it’s over far too quickly, and 2. you do have the relative safety of a parachute.
When in the heat of a mad chase, as this past Sunday, there is no time for fear… no time for prayers. Only time to breathe. Only time to focus on surroundings and footing, and do your best to guide your horse. Sharp turns, rough ground, thick woods, boggy creeks. Sometimes Horse thinks he knows better. Sometimes he does. Sometimes, though, what’s better for Horse leaves Rider with black bruises from cutting too close a path to a tree! No time to complain. Only time to breathe. Only time to sit up, be strong and demand more of a compromise. Only time to breathe.
Any second may be your last… Horse may leave Rider in the dust. Horse may go down. No time to worry. Only time to breathe.
Once it’s all over with and the thrill of the chase has given way to days of stiff, sore muscles… no time to complain. No time to fear. Only time to smile.