TITLE: A Ballerina In A Cowboy Boots-Chapter One
By Marilyn Klunder
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“Whoa, Lucky.” Maggie called her horse to a stop.
“Good girl, Lucky.” She patted her horse, bent down, and threw her arms around Lucky’s neck.
This was the closest thing to happiness that Maggie knew; her time riding her horse. Maggie threw her leg over the horses back and stepped down from the stirrups. She lead the horse over to the tree and tied the reigns to a limb. Her thoughts wandered from her contentment of riding to what waited for her at home.
Maggie swallowed the lump in her throat. Since her mom and Dad’s divorce nothing had been the same. Mom no longer lived with them and her Dad was always at work. Her older brother Jamie was always off with friends and her younger sister has barely talked since mom left. Maggie still wondered why God would allow this to happen to her family.
My family, she thought. It was all quite sad and it all happened so fast. It seemed as though one day they were a family, happy, talking and eating together, and when she woke up the next morning she barely knew the people she lived with.
Maggie placed her cheek on the nose of her horse and patted him gently along his smooth but muscular jawline . She could feel the warm breath of her horse on her face.
“How can there be a God,” she whispered to her horse. To Maggie, God now seemed distant and mean. He allowed her family to fall apart.
“You’re the only friend I have and I know you wouldn’t have let this happen if you were God,” said Maggie. The horse snorted and nodded his head as if agreeing to what she said.
“If only I could stay here forever with you ,” Maggie said to her horse. Somehow, she knew Lucky understood. When they rode together they were like one.
Maggie sat down and rested against the tree. She closed her eyes and listened to the sounds that surrounded her. She heard the birds chirping, and the sound of the wind rustling the leaves in the tree. She heard the sound of aa bee buzzing and a cricket croaking. It was getting close to evening time and she knew she couldn’t spend too much time there before it would be getting dark.
Maggie was different from most kids her age. She liked blue jeans and boots and she loved the smell of leather. She loved to hear the crickets at night and the smell of the flowers and fresh cut grass, and she could sit for hours watching the wind blow the limbs of the trees back and forth. It was her time alone in nature that brought her much comfort. She use to think it was her closest time with God. But now, God was not here anymore. He was very far away and not interested in what has become her life.
Maggie sat with her eyes closed. The sounds and smells were like a lullaby to her and the longer she kept her eyes closed the deeper the quietness became.
“Uh-huhm,” a voice interrupted the quietness.
“Uh-huhm, excuse me,” he spoke again. “Are you all right?” he asked.
Maggie jumped up a little startled. Before her stood a young boy slightly older than herself. Where did he come from she thought?
“Oh, hi,” said Maggie while brushing the dirt of her jeans. “Yah, I’m fine. Who are you?”
“My name is Besodeiah, but my friends call me Odei for short.”
“Beso-what?” Maggie asked.
“Bez-o-doy-eah.” He stressed each syllable.
“Strange name,” Maggie said.
“Well, Maggie is short for something too,” he said.
“How did you know my name was Maggie,” she asked.
“Well you must of told me,” Odei didn’t wait for her to respond.
“You looked like you were sleeping or dead. I just wanted to make sure you were O.K.”
“I’m not dead.” Maggie spun around awkwardly on her tiptoes as if she were a ballerina.
“Cute,” Odei said. “A ballerina in cowboy boots?”
They both laughed at the mental picture.
“Seriously, what are you doing out here by yourself?” Odei asked.
“I come here to escape the madness on Pearl‘s Gate.” Maggie deepened her voice sarcastically and again Odei laughed at her dramatic performance.
Maggie shrugged her shoulders. “What about you? What are you doing out here?”
“Well, ma’am, I’m just a stranger passing through these parts,” Odei followed her example and replied with a strained southern drawl in his voice and they both laughed at his poor imitation of a cowboy.
“Anyway, I know what you mean. I love the outdoors, too. Sometimes I like finding quiet places and just sit and listen.” Odei looked around and up into the evening sky with clouds that looked like the foam caps of the ocean.
“Look at those colors. God’s artistry is perfect, don’t you think…”
Maggie spun around before Odei could add another word.
“GOD,” she yelled, “There is no God here!”
“Whoa! Whoa!” Odie replied, “Take it easy. What did He ever do to you?”
“It’s what He DIDN’T do!” Maggie said angrily.
Maggie turned and started to walk away.
“Hey, wait for me!“ Odei yelled.
Maggie slowed down and they both walked slowly and silently towards the line of trees that lined the pasture to the North. The sun was starting to settle over the trees and the rays flickered between the leaves. The light show of the setting sun caught both of their attention and there was several moments of silence before either one of them spoke again.
“You’re angry with God, why?” Odei asked.
“Because God doesn’t care about me or my family. I prayed and prayed that He would fix my family; that He would make Mom and Dad love each other again and keep us together. I gave Him a chance but He left us alone. He didn‘t fix anything.”
Maggie’s hurt and bitterness was evident in her voice. Odei knew he had his work cut out for him. She was going to be a hard one to convince that God truly did love her and that He was right there with her right now.
“Do I think what?” Maggie asked as she stared off into the sunset.
“Huh?” Odei asked.
“You started to ask me something before you mentioned God.” Maggie said.
“I did?” Odei replied.
“Skip it,” she said, “let me ask you something.”
“Shoot ma’am.” Again Odei tried his imitation of a cowboy. “Eeuwww.”
“Yeah, don’t give up your day job,” she said.
“You mentioned God. Do you believe God exists or do you just use His name to punch air?” Maggie asked.
“Punch air?” He asked.
“You know what I mean. People say things like, “I just pray” or “Oh my god” or “god bless you” all the time without even knowing there really is a God.”
“Oh, so you admit that God does exist,” Odei said.
“Look, I didn’t say He didn’t exist. I just said He wasn’t here.”
They were now standing under an old large Black Oak tree. The sun was hitting the horizon now and darkness was drawing near. Both of them hunkered down next to the old Black Oak.
“Well?” Maggie asked.
“I’m no expert, Maggie, but have you ever looked out past the stars. I visited a planetarium once and they showed us our galaxy and then other galaxies that we know of. All I kept thinking was this is huge and man had nothing to do with it. How can anyone look at this and except it as a coincidence or that it just came to be? And if you really think about it, every part of nature is incredible. Look at the trees, the grass, the insects, the dirt; each one is a world or universe of its own and each of them co-exist together in harmony.”
Of course Maggie had thought of it before. Space, nature co-existing with one another. It was all very complicated, but also like Odei said, it was huge!
“It’s going to be getting dark soon. I should be heading back.”
Maggie closed her eyes to hear the sounds that surrounded her. Maggie thought about what Odei said. The trees, the grass, the insects and the dirt. Each being a whole universe or world of its own. The complexity of it all sent Maggie into deep thought.
Lucky nudged at Maggie‘s shoulder. Maggie opened her eyes to find herself sitting alone under the tree. It was starting to get dark. It was time to get back home. Maggie started to mount her horse. It was strange but a word kept racing through her mind. Besodeiah, Besodeiah, Besodeiah.
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