I remember the exact moment I realized that the magical sparkly world I lived in might be a big horrible lie. I was 6 years old and I had been seeing this commercial for weeks in between my much-cherished Saturday morning cartoons:
Omg. They fly. They are ponies that fly. Flutter Ponies. Holy shit. NEED.
I decided that I had to have a flutter pony more than anything in the world and eventually I wore my mother down and was soon standing in the “Barbie aisle” of Target (as I always called it).
AKA the “PINK aisle” (American girls you know what I’m talking about).
Anyway, there I am. A shiny naive six-year-old Jamie Susan. I’m rocking the SIDE PONYTAIL and I’ve got my SLIP-ON KEDS and I’m taking FOREVER carefully selecting my magical flutter pony.
Probably the most important decision of my life at this point.
How do you choose a new best friend!?
I picked the pale yellow one with pink hair. I don’t recall her name. But I couldn’t get out of Target fast enough to free her from her packaging and watch my new friend fly across the parking lot.
I literally threw her into the air. I watched with all of the hope in the universe. My pony was gonna flutter around my head like a butterfly and my life would be complete.
Instead, gravity ripped her from the air and she landed near my mom’s car with a loud plastic THUD.
I remember my mother gazing down at me with amazement on her face.
“Why did you do that??”
I looked at her incredulously. WHAT A STUPID QUESTION!
I can honestly still recall the sensation of my tiny angry face hurting from pinching it up in disdain and shock at my flutter pony’s poor performance.
“Moooooooooooom!!! She’s broken!!!” I bellowed.
“Oh Jamie.” She sighed. She picked up my poor flutter pony and handed it back to me.
The car ride home involved a long conversation about what you see on TV vs. reality.
This conversation was necessary I suppose, but it stabbed me in the heart as I clutched my stupid pony. I simply refused to believe that the Saturday Morning cartoon advertising THAT I TRUSTED AND APPRECIATED would lie to me this way. Don’t they know how awful it is to lie about whether or not a pony can fly?
So, let’s speed up 24 years into the future of my life. I still love ponies. I love magic. I love fantasy. I am however, completely lacking of the beautiful naiveté I clutched onto as a child.
Aren’t we all…
Photography lets me tap into that little girl that believed all those glittery falacies and sometimes I get the opportunity to capture images that directly source those pure innocent feelings. It’s a gift I receive on a regular basis.
On a hike through New Forest, a few months back when the weather was still bitter and the Spring flowers were desperately trying to push through, I encountered ponies.
Velvety, soft and magnificent ponies. Gentle and wild all at the same time.
It was extraordinary and it made me feel very pleased to be alive and grateful for EVERYTHING good in the world.
I also found some super fluffy sheep and some delightful foresty bits.
Towards the middle of the day, after hiking for a couple of wintry hours, we stopped in Burley for lunch and I saw this in a shop window…
This immediately reached in and dredged the whole bittersweet flutter pony childhood tale from my memory banks.
And then on the last leg of the hike, I climbed over mounds of prickly bushes and through deep pockets of mud just to say hello without trying to “capture the moment”…
My husband pulled out his iPhone just at the right time and snapped this sweet little blurry shot of me COMPLETELY in my element.
Life is beautiful folks.
Even in a world where plastic ponies don’t actually fly. xx