You probably know why I call this blog Wish on White Horses, although the site isn’t about horses.
For those who don’t know, the title came from a day so hot that fair vendors squirted us with cool water to keep us vertical.
Our friends Rita and Bob sat with Neil and me as we traveled by bus to avoid the drive and the parking trip into the left field for the Oregon Country Fair in Veneta, Oregon.
Suddenly, Rita, beside me, said, “Quick, make a wish.”
“A white horse. I always wish on white horses.”
I looked to the pasture alongside the road where a white horse, head bent to the ground, grazing on the green grass, and quickly thought up a wish. I don’t remember for what, but it must have come true.
It tickled me to learn about wishing on white horses, for, as a child, I wished on every birthday candle, every shooting star that managed to cross my vision, and every first star of the night from when I was nine years old until I was twelve when my wish came true. My folks bought my gorgeous horse, Boots, for me.
You can see why I am so cuckoo over horses, for Boots was my partner and best bud for the following nine years.
If you have never heard of or attended the Oregon CountryFair, it’s a phenomenon to experience.
Even if you thought all the Hippies had gotten sucked up into the ether's, they get spit out for the three days of the Fair. It’s rather like a Renaissance Fair without the horse jousting. People dress (or undress) in whatever fun costume they can find.
The booths displaying exquisite artworks are set among the trees and made from sticks and earthy materials, looking like a Hobbit village. The food is so good you want to sample everything. There is music and dancing and booths about sustainable living and new technologies. There is hot water from pipes coiled through a compost pile.
People who have put together the fair party for three days. It is as though someone opened the doors to Shangri La.
After three days, all human habitation or remains disappear except for the artistic fence bordering the entrance. The land reclaims its own. A big open field appears that was once a parking lot, and the trees return to their quiet whispering alongside the Long Tom River.
The river generally floods in the spring, then evaporates in summer, leaving silt that makes the ground fertile come July when it is hot and the people return.
One summer, when Casey’s mother was pregnant with him, she went to the Fair and had her exposed belly painted with a coiled infant, such as existed inside.
Now Casey is 18, will graduate from high school this school year, made a white horse for me, and the wish on white horses lives on.