When I was a child riding home on the school bus, I amused myself by pretending I was really outside the bus, galloping along on a horse, keeping up in the fields beside the gravel back roads. The smooth green of the grass was achingly inviting, and the prospect of being anywhere but on the speeding, dusty, hot bus was too tempting not to daydream.
I used to hold my tiny, child hand out against the dirty window and trace along the dips and rises in the familiar hay fields as we jolted past, imagining the way my horse’s stride would shorten going up the hill, and lengthen going down. I could almost taste the wind on my face, and feel the vibration in my hands from the reins. I could almost hear the syncopated snort of breath. I could picture waves of mane bobbing and flipping, and the ears straight forward, if I tried.
I wanted to feel the gallop as I sat on the big, green, hard naughahide seat, backpack bouncing, feet never quite touching the floor. Even in stationary flight on a big bus, I moved with the landscape, transported from that space into another using nothing but a child’s imagination.
I still look out the car window at the spacious, rolling fields we speed past in our journeys, and sometimes, I hold my adult hand up to the window, and smile.