When Simon finished his first horse session at RideAble today he asked me this question, "Do you think this will be a powerful memory?"
"Of course it will be." I answered as I helped him change out of his boots and back into his tennis shoes.
"Will it protect me when I encounter Dementors?"
Ah, a very specific Harry Potter reference.
What he was wondering, this awesome boy of mine, was if this memory would be powerful enough to become his patronus.
Harry Potter fans will recognize this quickly, others may need an explanation:
"This ancient and mysterious charm conjures a magical guardian, a projection of all your most positive feelings. The Patronus Charm is difficult, and many witches and wizards are unable to produce a full, corporeal Patronus, a guardian which generally takes the shape of the animal with whom they share the deepest affinity. You may suspect, but you will never truly know what form your Patronus will take until you succeed in conjuring it." (Miranda Goshawk)
An animal with whom they share the deepest affinity.
The way the Patronus charm works is that the wizard must concentrate, with all their might, on a single, very happy memory to protect themselves in the darkest moments.
What Simon was telling me, through this short conversation, was that he loved this experience.
The truth is, he didn't need to tell me.
I could see it in the way he was paying attention, in the way he was careful and kind, and in the way he smiled at me when he caught my eye.
Simon was on a horse once before if I remember correctly, many years ago down in Bandon on the Oregon coast. That horse, as Chris and my parents will remember, was named Silver. Today he met Chica and he was smitten.
We signed him up for these lessons with the hope that it would be something he could get excited about and connect with (to the horses, to the instructors, to the other students, to the experience).
Today was an awesome beginning.
Life is for living. And for making memories and learning new things and finding stuff to get excited about and sharing deepest affinities.