Monday, December 11, 2023

The Healing Road

"What do we do when our hearts hurt?" asked the boy
"We wrap them with friendship, shared tears and time, till they wake hopeful and happy again."
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse

I found this photo of Cowboy as I was putting together photos of Little Joe for a memory album I'm making for my granddaughter. I took it just days before losing him, while I was out at the barn cleaning stalls. I miss that intensity we had and how he was always there watching me. It gave me this sense of never being alone.

My cowgirl friends had our annual Christmas party this year. It was our 16th gathering.

Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.
Mary Oliver, "Sometimes"

I want to tell you about something that astonishes me: how deeply horses love.

When I walk out to the pasture to find comfort from my friends, they are so happy to give it. They walk right up and put their noses in my face. There's this fierce willingness to be together, and it is tempered with this great gentle quiet. There's nothing that compares to the bond of the herd.

Foxy is special. There is something transcendent in her. She is extremely kind-hearted, warm, and wise. I see why Tumbleweed loves her so deeply. I would, too. All the horses in the herd love Foxy. When she comes up to me, her spirit is strong and I sense being in the presence of something unearthly, unworldly. She is a powerful healer of hearts. 

Beautiful, on the other hand, is the enforcer, and she teaches me about having good boundaries.  Here, she's telling Foxy to stay away while we have our time.

Leah, what a gentle soul who gets pushed to the bottom of the herd, but has such a sweet spirit. She should have been someone's one and only horse. I am grateful for all that she gave me when she was my trail partner. 

Tumbleweed and Epona have become very close, and are often together at the bale or in the pasture.

Incoming kisses.

This is how I feel about all of them. Thankful.

Winter Solstice

let me hold on
to the edge of your robe
as you determine
what you must let be lost
and what will be saved.

Mary Oliver, "Maker of All Things, Even Healings"

Winter solstice is incredibly symbolic--it is the darkest day of the year, but we know, with certainty, that the darkness will be put behind us--gradually--and we are guaranteed to experience more light every day.

My daughter, husband, and I are planning a party for that day, December 22, 2023. 

One of the things we will be doing is having a bonfire, and we will throw in something that has not served us well in 2023. 

I have been thinking about what it is I'll be throwing in, and I'm having a hard time naming it.

As you can see, I've been reading Red Bird, by Mary Oliver, again. There is this line in "Night and the River:"

I could not tell
which fit me
more comfortably, the power,
or the powerlessness.

What has not served me well is trying to control the chaos. I think the powerlessness suits me better. So, this thing that is so hard to name, but that rears up inside over and over again, and is quite painfully let down every time it does, is...what?  The story, the pride, the expectations and judgments?  Can it all be encapsulated in the word power?  Power is an illusion.

There is a line in Rilke's "The Monastic Life":

I want to unfold.
Let no place in me hold itself closed,
for where I am closed, I am false.

Unfolding into powerlessness, even embracing the powerlessness, while holding on to everything that comes to comfort: all that has been, and all that will be. 

Cowboy continues to come to me from somewhere. 

Whatever it is of him that is willing to remain, I want to take it with me into the healing days, along the healing road, and into the growing light of what is to come.


Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Wintering: A Video Blog

I thought I'd make my post a video blog today, just to do something different and fun this winter.

I hope you enjoy it. Tell me how you like this format.

Happy wintering!