The Lower Ring

“It will probably be the last lesson in the upper ring.  It’s getting too dark.”

“Oh” I said, a little inquisitively. “I’ve never been to the lower ring.”

“Me neither. It has lights.”

I hadn’t expected the contemplation in her voice. I had expected her to tell me what the lower ring was like, or where it was, or to say that she had been down there once or twice.  I had expected her to be happy about this new experience, however small the change might be. But always, with her, there is a hesitancy…a tentative posture, almost as though she is waiting for me to react before she does.

She left to tack up her horse.

I sat in the quiet, watching the wind ruffle itself through the trees.  Watching the leaves spin to the ground, catching flickers of the early evening sunlight. Watching her graceful figure walk to the upper ring for the last time, until the light shines in our favor again.

The Lower Ring

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