It was a long time before I saw Commotion again. A year and a half. So much had happened. He'd gone off with a sweet woman that spent her summers in Wyoming and winters in Southern California. Together they rode many happy miles together. Somehow though, he was back at Varian Arabians and back up on the sale page. It was right before Christmas.
"He's down in the twelve stall barn."
I smiled at Angela, and trotted out the door, eager to visit with my old friend. Walking down the aisle, peering in each stall, I found him near the end, in the second to last stall. I checked to make sure and there was his name, posted on the door "COMMOTION V". He was standing with his head in the far corner, one foot cocked, snoozing. As I unlatched the clasp, he lifted his head as if to say, "Oh, hello."
He turned to face me as I walked in. I reached out my hand to him and he took a couple steps toward me, sniffing at my hand. Suddenly his head lifted about an inch, his ears perked a little more forward and he looked at me more closely, taking another step. He sniffed my hand deeper, then my arm, then my shoulder, neck, head. I stepped closer to him, petting his withers, then putting my arms around his neck, burying my face in his mane. He sniffed my back, my behind, my legs, my boots, then he wrapped his long graceful neck around my body. We stood quiet in that embrace for a few moments, tears on my face. In the silence we told each other everything that had happened. When he let me go, I backed away, stroked my hand all over his body, down his legs, under his belly. Finally I told him goodbye and that I would see him tomorrow. His ears were perked as he watched me close the stall door. My dear friend, Commotion.
The next day, I walked into the show barn, and there were Commotion and Murietta, tied to the grooming cross ties, brushed and saddled. What a treat. Roy was waiting tied to the trailer. David and I climbed into the truck with Kristy, the sweet, smart and beautiful young woman that is the breeding manager at Varian Arabians. Hard to believe it, but Kristy had not been to the Biddle Ranch since she was a little girl. At Windmill Flats we swung up into our saddles, David on Roy, me on Commotion, and lucky Kristy on Murietta. (Riding Murietta feels like you are out strolling with the King. He is a real dream). Commotion felt as good as ever. Happy to be out in the open and calmly walking with the other horses, watching Lily chasing after squirrels and listening to the birds sing. We chatted a little bit but all three of us were somewhat nostalgic, missing our Sheila. I could feel her right there inside my heart, enjoying the day, the fine horses, the friendships. I could almost hear her voice.... "ain't life grand!"