I am grateful for this new year. I am grateful to be alive, to be sitting at this desk beneath this window, embracing the last of the sun’s fading light which is making the pastures glow in a particular kind of holiness. I am grateful. I am also alone for what turns out to be the first time in two months. I have benefited and found so much joy in what was a period of great connectedness, but still, I have missed my solitude and the rhythm of a day reckoned completely under my own steam. That is, I missed it until I got it….and let me tell you, I am completely out of practice.
It is perhaps closer to the truth to say that solitude is what I have learned to do, and in the repeated undertaking of it, I have found the ways that made it work best for me. Then, those ways became familiar and the familiar became comfortable and so I thought: “Well, that is me; that is who I am”. Only it’s not. It’s just how I have learned to be, given the circumstances.
Circumstances are changing though: I am starting school this week. Classes are held at night, enabling me to be with the animals and to take care of the farm in mostly the usual way while Gordy travels. But, it is school, with deadlines and class time and, as a counseling program, an above average amount of people interaction. It will change the rhythm of my day, the rhythm of my thinking; it will change me. I am counting on that. I am finding great promise in that; promise that I am not done growing, that I am not done contributing, being useful, that I am not done changing.
Also, I am riding again. Now, that sounds simple, but truly it is not. My connectedness to riding has been slipping since we moved here. There are a thousand external reasons, but they are just great big excuses for my internal reason which is I began to feel unworthy and that my riding didn’t add to a life of well-being for the horses (don’t laugh). Then cancer happened and I couldn’t ride, even if I wanted to which altogether became a long bridge to cross back over and one, it turns out, I couldn’t cross by myself. Fortunately, the Universe conspired to send help my way. One of the first people I trained with when I started riding (a long time ago), Jennifer Schuck, moved to Ocala and we reconnected. She has been coming over twice a week and, though we call it training, she has demonstrated extraordinary awareness in letting our experience be shaped by my view of my horses as friends and partners with independent rights to opinions of their own. She is enabling me to ride in a way that feels consistent with those friendships. The horses are happy. I am happy. It all shows promise.