We drive down the winding road, through the flowering dogwoods and redbuds that dot the landscape. Through the farms and the estates.
We turn down the drive, our tires crushing gravel and dust swirling up around us.
Soon we hear the horses whinnying. Hooves pounding the dirt. Birds singing. Charlotte, the black farm dog walks over to greet us.
The sun shines softly this afternoon and all around the tiny new leaves brighten the trees around us.
Kate hops out of the car. Ella points to the tire swing, which will likely become my best friend on these afternoons.
We walk to the barn.
And my little girl learns to ride.
For thirty minutes each lesson, she rides.
While I watch. While I smile. While I photograph.
Ella asks me to take pictures of the horse poop. And begs to ride the tire swing. And I bribe her with gummy bears and tell her just-five-more-minutes, baby.
And I am happy.