It's another sun-drenched day on the plains of Texas, and as I stepped out onto the hard-packed red earth of my family's ranch, my boots scrunching in the dirt, I felt the heat of the sun beating down onto my Stetson-covered head. I could feel a warmth in my heart, too, for this was my home. I'd been happily roaming these plains since I was a young scamp of 8 years, that fateful day when I saved my mother from a stampeding bull. True, I often feel the ache of a strained back, but nothing was going to take my love for this land away.
It just wasn't a normal dawdle out to pasture. As I wandered by the cattle, I could feel my heart skip a beat. They seemed to be looking at me expectantly, and my thoughts turned to the day when I almost thought I heard them calling to me, like a strange telepathic connection I couldn't explain. My family don't believe me, but I know something is up.
Clambering onto my trusty horse, I spurred it on into the open land, determined to slide by the various wild animals that roam these parts. Soon, I was plummeted into an improbable adventure! Animals of all shapes and sizes skittered around me, some running in fear and others regarding me with a mixture of apprehension and admiration. It had been some time since I'd joggled, but not to worry; I could easily tie the 500-odd knots I know (sheepshank anyone?) just in the nick of time to get myself out of a jam.
The sun was setting fast, and the stars were twirling about in the heavens above. But as I ventured further and further from home, I felt a strange sense of awe and excitement in my heart. The creatures all around me seemed almost as if they were expecting me; it was like a dream, an improbable adventure that was so surreal I could hardly believe it.
I finally knew it was time to turn around and return home, and I did so with a renewed zest for life. No matter what the future held, I was determined to make the most of it. I certainly had more than enough adventures ahead of me — ones that no one else could ever take away.
As I rode back home that night, I allowed my mind to wander to the infinite possibilities that awaited me, possibilities only I could ever imagine. As my horse galloped beneath me, a bellowing voice in my head said:
"Remember, cowboy: The greatest adventures of all are to be had within yer own heart and mind."
And I had no doubt that they would.