Today, I received a card in the mail. It was from my best-good-friend in middle school. Growing up we shared something important in common (besides the color of our hair). That something?
(More about ponies in a minute. First let’s talk snail mail.)
Getting a hand addressed card in the mail can be a rare thing these days. The fact that there was one in my mailbox, it was addressed to little ol’ me, and it was from my best-good-friend? A definite improvement over the piles of junk mail I usually get.
The best part about receiving this note from my friend was that it said something so powerful + fond memory inducing that I found myself whisked away to a sweet-happy-place from times gone by.
It said simply…
This card got me to thinking about you. I hope things are going well. It snowed here for the first time this year. We will have some riding to do to find a couple cows that jumped the fence. Should be pretty chilly, but it has to be done.
Anyway- I still think of you riding “Bess”. Good times, weren’t they.
Take care and love ya lots.”
And that was it. Just those few words, “I still think of you riding Bess. Good times…” brought back the sweet-happy-place of my childhood memories. A little ranch on the corner of sunny road, at the base of the hill.
It began in the third grade…
When I bravely knocked on the door and asked if I could ride the ponies. A very kind man answered that door + said “yes” and 10 years of daily door knocking ensued. I started out riding the Shetland ponies, and later graduated to Welsh ponies. Like clockwork- rain or shine, snow or blizzard- I showed up every single day to play with the ponies.
One day I arrived to find the very kind man with the big horses in the corral. He took my foot in his hand and gave me a leg up onto Bess.
Bess was a white Appaloosa and she was his best-good-horse. He told me stories about how special she was, really smart + high spirited. Somewhere in the back of the mind I recognized that if he was letting me ride her, I must be pretty special too.
Bess and I became best friends and spent many happy days together having grand adventures in the far pasture.
When I was with the ponies, I always felt safe and loved. I always felt like I belonged.
Getting that card from my friend returned me to that feeling of safety, love, and belonging in an instant.
Spread the joy + share a memory…
Happy memories activate the deepest joy within us. We can spread that joy all around by sharing that memory with others.
Write a note sharing a fond memory of a friend or loved one. Send it to them in an old-fashioned hand-written snail mail card, or pop it in a modern email.
Now pay attention- observe how you feel as you revisit this memory + imagine how your friend or loved one will feel as they receive and read it. Do you feel the joy? Now send it!
I shared my happy memory, now it’s your turn. Spread the joy! Share your own happy memory in the comments below. Yes?