When I was growing up, I watched Western movies incessantly. When playing together, my siblings and I, if I wasn’t allowed to be John Wayne, I refused to play.
I was always John Wayne.
Now that I’m grown up, I wonder about my connection to the cowboy? Not the real ones, you understand, not those cowboys in Colorado or Texas, or the Pampas of Argentina, not those actually herding cattle on a ranch. For me, it’s the mythic cowboy figure that took shape all those years ago, as my young heart absorbed the man on the silver screen.
A strong, silent man, who walks tall and proud, is how I think of the cowboy. A plain talking man of few words, who when he does speak, speaks with directness, says what he means. Honour is his internalized code. Courage flows in his veins. Softness, when he chooses, shines in his eyes.
A solitary rider, unafraid to move beyond the frontier, adventuring, pioneering as he traverses the wilderness. Riding for a course, saving the world. Romantic. Seductive. He exudes that magnetic quality, the real embodiment of character.
Each day, each hour of the setting sun, finds me looking outwards, heart restless, scanning the horizon for a lone figure on a horse, riding homewards.