Most mornings at the house in Geneva, sometimes as we're waking, sometimes through the day, we'll hear the clip-clop, clip-clop of horse hooves on the pavement of the road which leads down to Lac Leman. It's a wonderful cadence of the rural-like Corsier Port, even though we're 10 clics or less from the centre of downtown Geneva.
Other sounds are as pleasant - a chorus of birds, from seagulls to doves to crows; the neighbours' dogs, one of them a bit incessant; the gentle lapping of the water on the rocks as you get close to the lake - but the sound of a majestic walking horse is unique, rare, adding a special note to the ambience of this place.
Often when I hear the approaching horse, I'll go to the window of the attic office where I'm working to see it walk past. Often it's the ambassador's steed - the female rider ambles the horse up to the gate, touches in the code, the gate opens, the horse saunters in, and the gate closes behind. Yesterday, a man pushing a baby stroller stopped on the sidewalk to watch; I can only imagine the infant's thoughts as it observed, from about 2 feet off the ground, the 6-foot high 1000-pound four-legged beast looming in front of it.
It's been awhile since I rode a horse, though I've always enjoyed the experience. D-L and I rode horses when we first met in Missouri, and something she said then has always stayed with me because it reflected her positive attitude toward life. As we approached the barn, the aroma was, well, almost overpowering. But rather than focus on the negative of the smell, she remarked, "There must be a pony in here somewhere."
You can get through the challenges of life a whole lot easier with such a positive outlook.