Doesn’t everyone have a favorite shirt? That one that is threadbare because it has been worn and washed so many times. And that shirt holds so many sweet memories and if you bury your face in it, you can smell the memories. I had a red and brown flannel shirt that I used at horse camp for years and years.
It had a hole where I’d gotten caught in some barbed wire when I had to dismount and get the wire out-of-the-way so we could pass through and get back on the trail. And another hole when it’d been caught on the saddle horn as my horse was bucking because the pack horse’s lead rope was stuck under his tail. That was a wild ride.
My shirt held the smells of countless campfires with s’mores and guitar and singing. There were tears on the shoulders, shed by campers or wranglers who needed the comfort of that soft flannel. It also held the whoops of joy when we came to tops of passes and took in the mountain vista before us, thanking God for such beauty.
In the pockets were cinnamon candies and Twizzler Pull n Peels that brought us down the trails until we could stop for tortillas with peanut butter and honey. The sleeves had been rolled up or pulled back down so many times as the sun warmed us and clouds chilled. That shirt has the personalities of all the horses it was tied onto behind the saddle and the rich earthy smell of them, along with their hair.
At night, it became a pillow for my tired head as I settled down into my sleeping bag and dreamed of more long mountain trails.