An Unexpected Peace:
“It was then that Tristan came into the quiet part of his life. The bear inside him was sleeping. It is hard to tell of happiness. Time goes by and we feel safe too soon.” – One Stab (Legends of the Fall)
For better or for worse, I have, for many years, been fascinated with the movie, Legends of the Fall. This movie has irresistible sweeping landscapes, sweeping music and sweeping passions. The story takes the viewer beyond the internal “…and they lived happily ever after…”, and shows what happens to the characters in the “ever after”. It reflects the way real life ebbs and flows, albeit with far more dramatic storylines.
More dramatic than my life storylines, at least :).However, I do relate to the concept of the sleeping bear. Ah yes, the bear of hope, anxiety, yearning, fulfilling potential, being driven and my pesky inner “demons” that need healing.
I am in one of those times right now. The bear inside me is sleeping and I am enjoying a wonderful period of rest, renewal, release and regrouping. (Yep, the truly essential 4 Rs)
By making the difficult decision to bring myself and my three horses back to Florida for a time, I have been shown very clearly that there were underlying issues that needed to be addressed beyond my own exhaustion and stresses.
First of all, my horses. My horses are very content not to be constantly blanketed and un-blanketed!
They are enjoying respite from the challenging winds of Wyoming. They are very peaceful at the beautiful barn I’ve found for them. Even finding that barn was a miracle.
I had been making making inquiries about boarding barns in South Florida on a barn-resource website, and this particular barn owner was the first to reply. It was the first barn I visited when I got here for “reconnaissance”. The beauty and peaceful energy, seemingly coming up from the land itself, were all I needed to know. Although I visited a couple of other barns after this one, there was simply no comparison. The barn decision was easy and has turned out to be better than expected.
Second of all, I was able to get a farrier to see my three within a few days of arriving. He’s been with this barn for 20 years. He actually looked at the x-rays of Baby Doe’s navicular arthritis and spent a long time pointing out things in the images that no one had showed me before. He has made a plan of action for her best pain management and to help her be a sound as possible. Yes, he’s actually a farrier who “shows up” on many different levels!
He then recommended a trainer that he and the barn owner have known for many years. I had already begun interviewing trainers but my “spidey sense” was sending red flags of “No”.
This trainer was open and listened to what I was hoping for for my three. Each of them has a different personality, background and issues. She heard that. As we’ve begun work with them, I see more and more that she really does “get” that each of them is on a different path. As for my own training 🙂 well, she sees to it that I’m understanding what she’s doing and gives tips and instructions on how I can also do these techniques…in time…
She also made me aware of a new treatment for navicular disease and I’m having the new vet, who understands navicular, out to the barn to implement this treatment this week! Oh, to see Baby Doe out of pain…!
Then there’s getting back to my riding training…in time…
That’s another huge part of my sleeping bear. I am consciously choosing to only do one thing at a time…I am resisting the ever-present pressure to take on more than I can handle. I am taking care of my slightly fragile psyche right now. (By the way, in my way of thinking, it takes a lot of strength to let oneself feel fragile…)
I am also giving myself the gift of time….time to grieve Hercules’ death; time to grieve the loss of some of my dearest, most private hopes; time to sit on my balcony and just watch palm fronds blowing as the sun sets; time to sit in the pasture where my horses peacefully graze and allow my inner time clock to meld with their time clocks.
Their clocks move very slowly… I watch each move, each ear flick, each eye expression change. I watch how they’re chewing their grass or hay. I watch each interaction in the wordless dance they weave together.
I am also giving myself permission not to know. Not to know what’s next. Not to know when I need to do the next thing for the ranch. Not to know who is going to be part of my life there, whether as staff or visiting friends. I really don’t know. And, surprisingly, I don’t care that I don’t know.
I am enjoying things that I had not given myself permission to enjoy for a couple of years now. Yes, indeed! Things such as shopping, not for tack, but for sparkly high heeled sandals. Things such as actually putting on a cute outfit for the day; something other than jeans, boots and a cotton shirt, since my days, before this respite, had always ended up at the barn, and any clothing gets muddy, torn and faded with barn work 🙂 Things such as taking naps, reading good books and seeing friends I hadn’t had time to see in the past while.
The horses are just fine. More than fine. They are getting what they need.
Ah yes, the bear is sleeping. But time will go by. I may indeed be feeling too safe, too soon.
I accept that. For now, however, this is good. This is very good.