What the Rocking Horse Knew

Once upon a time an old wooden rocking horse sat in the corner of a hallway in a grandmothers house. Its paint was peeling and its tail bedraggled, but it retained the refined and dignified air of a beloved toy. And there was dust. A fine layer on the head and seat, persistently replacing itself after each dusting. The grandchildren were grown and living interstate. There wasn’t much use for rocking.

One day the rocking horse overheard of a conversation that began with “Whats that!” followed by an interrogation, as if a crime had been committed; Harbouring a Rocking Horse. Why is it here? Why do you need it? Is really worth keeping? Its not going to fit where you are going.

Grandma stood her ground and kept the rocking horse, for the time being at least. But she looked sad and deflated. She was downsizing. Moving on, or so they called it.  She needed to be practical.

The rocking horse saw everything clearly, and sighed quietly, wishing they could have asked him about his future.

You see a childs wooden horse. A well crafted toy past its prime taking up space in the hallway. And its true. I am made of wood and paint and horsehair. I am from the earth, and one day I will return to the earth. But I am more than this. I am the hopes of motherhood, the joy of childhood, the fondness of a grandmother. I am a tangible link with the past, a memory of good times of family. When you see me, you see these things that you love – quality, craftsmanship, childhood, family, play, fun, laughter. And you feel the feelings you value – love, warmth, joy, appreciation. This has been my role, to hold these things for you in this corner of the hall.

But there is more to me and you than this. Those things that you love, those feelings that you appreciate, are not in me, they are in you. Its your joy, your love, your appreciation. When you see me, you feel these in yourself.  You fear these things will be taken from you, but understand that you cannot lose them. They are of you, and will always be yours.

Sitting here in the corner, I am fading from lack of use. I am willing to remain with you and hold that space for you. But realise that this is reminding you of something you already have. If you could take that and hold it in your heart, it may be that I could have a future with another family and allow them to experience their joy, their love and their appreciation. Perhaps if you can feel the joy, love and appreciation vividly enough, and claim it as your own, you could release me to that future. Not so much a letting go, but an expansion.

Its true that there may come a time when I am too old for use and restoration. Whether its now or later, you or someone else, there will be a time to allow me to return to the earth. But although I will be gone in this form, love, joy and appreciation will continue in this world. Because you don’t own it, and I don’t own it. When you feel that deeply, you will be able to truly let me go, because we will never be apart.


Leave a Reply