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Archive for April, 2011

dear lucky

dear lucky,

i can now say that i remember both the first and last times that i saw you.  on that first day you were still someone else’s horse and you were giving her a heck of time getting around a novice course at stoneleigh burnham.  knowing you as through and through and through as i think i do, i feel certain that you had good reason for that choice.  the choice not to jump over and over again.  and also i am so glad that you stopped on that beautiful sunny day because it was that stop that led your then owner to tell your then trainer, “that is it we are selling him.”

and also, in a stroke of luck, our good friend knew your then owner and told us you were coming up for sale so we called right away to come see you.  that second time i saw you was when we drove out to the barn to try you.  that day you stopped at every fence i pointed you at and really i was looking for a horse that could teach me how to event but it hardly mattered.  it felt right to sit on your back.  when my mom and i were in the car driving home that day i kept saying, “i think that was him.  i think that was my horse.”  i had one of those smiles you are trying not to smile but you can’t stop it.

growing up i was a little girl who adored horses and begged my parents to let me learn how to ride.  eventually they gave in and i went to a local barn and rode school horses as many days a week as i could.  i rode and rode and rode.  i also would happily spend time grooming and cleaning tack.  and dreaming, dreaming of having my own horse.

i must have been eight or ten then, eventually twelve and on and on.  my mom learned to ride and we did get a horse but it was really her horse.  this is a distinction that may be hard to understand if you have never had a horse but you will have to trust me.  but lucky, of course, you understand.  the years passed and my time spent riding waxed and waned but that seed of longing for my own horse never went away.  eventually, twenty one years old and about to graduate from college my time had come and my parents decided to buy me a horse.

a person who gets to have their very own horse is blessed.  and today, as i was saying good bye to you for the last time i kept telling you how you were the horse.  The Horse.  if a girl was to only have one horse ever in their life, which i believe is how my life will play out, you were absolutely the one to have.  you being you.  the ultimate teacher.  kind and safe.  brave enough to do what i wanted to do.  patient enough to allow me some mistakes and bossy enough to make sure i shaped up.  you taught me what a gallop is and also showed me self carriage, a frame, soft connection.  you lectured me on the perfection of using a circle to create circular energy.  you showed me the pure fun of exploring the woods at a canter.  you encouraged me to perfect the art of graciously accepting your interpretation of my requests represented to me as your own idea – a skill that has come in useful in so many relationships in my life.  you demanded focus, concentration, dedication.  you once (early on) kicked the stall wall when i answered my cell phone while grooming you.  when i was with you i was to be with you.  no multitasking allowed.  you did teach me how to ride and i doubt i will ever know how to ride another horse like i knew how to ride you.  i believe you also taught me about love, about companionship, and about the epic submission of horse to human.  the beautiful, amazing, and undeserved dedication your kind has had to my kind.  you allowed me on your back probably thousands of times in all the years we were together.  you kept me safe in all those thousands of situations and you worked with me.  you showed me.  you were a blessing.

a few weeks ago i rode you for the last time.  i had no idea it was the last time i would be riding you.  after the ride i felt so emotional and i took a moment to thank you for being in my life.  later i wrote about you and all that day i was wondering, what is going on?  why do i feel like i am reflecting back on lucky’s life?  why do i feel like lucky is going to die?  i insisted to myself that i stop the melodrama.  i insisted to myself that you were really not that old, you were healthy and doing well and we probably had a few years together yet.

now you have crossed over.

when i think about everything you gave to me i have no idea how to express it to you.  you somehow managed to make me feel loved.  you gave me self confidence.  you made me feel like i was right in every way – at least for you.  around you, riding you, working with you i never felt flawed or misunderstood or lesser than.  all those inner demons i have battled in my life – and still sometimes do battle – were somehow quieter in my relationship with you.  maybe that is the true gift.  the feeling of fitting so well.  that is what it means that you were my horse.  that i was your person.  it was the true fit.

we walked you up the back hill today for the last time.  it was a slow walk, with your leg so sore and our intention to let you enjoy grazing as we made our way up the small rise.  then the vet came up with the medicine needed to help you cross over to the spirit world.  i held onto your lead line while she injected you.  i watched your body fall to ground in the way that horses bodies do in these situations.  i was crying quietly and thinking good bye good bye thank you.  then something changed in the air around me and i just knew it was your spirit leaving your body.  but instead of simply dispersing like i have sensed when present with dying animals before i felt like you wrapped yourself around my heart.  your concentrated spirit just filling up my entire chest and blanketing my breaking heart for a bit.  in those minutes when i felt you there holding my heart i stopped crying.  i felt warm and peaceful.  i felt deeply perfectly loved.

then you were gone.  my heart took up its aching again.  i know, lucky, that you are at peace.  i know your spirit has crossed and you are free from your body.  you are now just white light and divine loving energy and all knowing source bits.  all this crying i am doing is not for you.  it is for me.  me sad.  me missing you.  me feeling overwhelmed by how wonderful you were here.  me feeling so blessed to have known you.  me feeling grateful to have had you as my once in a lifetime horse.  me feeling lucky.

dear lucky, you know i remember more than just the first and last day.  i remember all of our twelve years together.  i hold it in my heart and in the ways you have shaped me forever.  i love you.  i thank you.

dear lucky,

good bye.

rest in peace.

love,

robin

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week

in even an imperfect and worrisome week there are moments of sweetness worth savoring.

two kids and their favorite donkey.

morning hikes with our dog

a simple dinner

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“oh, are you from the waldorf group? or are you just a part of the homeschooling group?”
“we are…we are…i am not sure. i guess we are just finding our way.”

this morning we took castle james for a walk with my mom and her dogs. the kids wore their rain boots and enjoyed wading through the unusually high but still only ankle deep streams at the racecourse.

after that walk we dropped castle james off at our house and drove “on two highways!” to the outdoor playdate at the mass audobon site again. this is my attempt to connect with some local waldorf homeschoolers. it also ends up being a nice little chunk of time spent outside in nature where i have almost no agenda. i don’t know the other adults well enough to be yearning to catch up with them, no one seems to be bothered by how my children both hang on me or want to be in my lap or are too shy to play with the other kids just yet. i am just there to feel things out and with the added bonus that we are in a lovely setting and doing some nature exploring.

two nature walks in one morning is a lot though – for a not even three yet year old. after about an hour and a half it was time for us to head home. i thought somehow, when i first got the idea of attending these, that going would answer questions for me. that it would help me to know where we are in terms of educational style and planning or at least help me see what i am aiming for. in the end though it is just time outside with other nice folks. and when, sitting by the turtle pond, one of the other mother’s there asked me which group i was from the answer didn’t seem any clearer at all.

but i didn’t feel panicked about it.
actually, it felt kind of peaceful.
just finding our way.

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morning fog

20110426-030336.jpg

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last night we read mr. topsy turvy as our bedtime book. after mr. topsy turvy leaves the place where we live to return to the place he leaves it turns out that we are still a bit topsy turvy. the newspaper men call out, “read it all about!” instead of, “read all about it!” and people ask each other “how do do you?” instead of “how do you do?”

the other night laying in the about to fall asleep darkness flash asked me, “how are you?” and i told him, “i am good. my mind is almost quiet.” as though that short sentence could explain it all. the hours of time i spend reeling around knee deep in the muck of my thinking self. when i was pregnant with the pea i had such trouble falling asleep and i used to lay in the darkness chanting, “i am not my thinking self. i am not my thinking self.” until the truth of it finally silenced my thinking self enough that sleep could come fill in that space left behind.

now, so far from that pregnancy, i still struggle to tame my flying thoughts some nights. and some days too. today is one of those days. i want to get out of my head but i can’t seem to find the time. last night i scribbled in my journal, “acoustic thursday?” thinking that i wanted to stay unplugged today. to not turn on my computer or let the kids watch any tv in the middle of day.

this morning we made pizza dough, they “cooked” with water, olive oil, chocolate syrup, dried elderflowers and cereal, we painted on card stock with blue and red paints, we played with magna tiles, we made pictures with spring themed foam stickers, and we read many books. we also cleaned up all of those activities and i cut some fabric and we moved around some laundry. then it was 12:30.

we ate lunch and while we were eating i knew i was going to turn on both my computer and the tv. i hated myself for it. then i was irritated with myself for hating myself for it. then i got to thinking about what all the real waldorf people whose lovely coops i want to be a part of would think if they knew my kids do have some limited screen time. then i thought of how shameful might it be if one of my kids actually said something about a tv character when we were with people from one of those coops. then i thought about why this exact mental path of self loathing is why i always turn away from waldorf. we made pizza dough, play cooked, painted, did stickers, read books and had some lovely imaginative free play time this morning and instead of being happy with all that i am stuck in a spot of dread and loathing because of a tv show.

then i just want to call someone who knows better and ask them, “how do DO you?” i mean really, how? it is just that i have no idea who that person is. i guess i shall have to ask myself.

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the path

right now lucky is in the trailer being driven home from his stay at the hospital. his mysterious fever cleared up and the swelling in his leg got less insane and they believe he has a soft tissue injury near his knee including his deep flexor tendon. he is in for a long road of rehab but right now he is on the road to my parents place in south carolina and this weekend he will be shipping back north with the rest of his mini herd.

i am so thankful, for the doctors at the hospital who helped get this injury under control, for all the people we know who sent their prayers and positive thoughts, for the bean who instructed me several times to “burn the thing by lucky again!” (smudge the alter we had made for him), and on and on. i am thankful that he is injured by ok and that he is coming home. thank you.

this morning the kids and i took castle james for a walk at one of the local reservations. (flash drove castle james home last weekend and at least two of us are thrilled to have him back!) we listened to the birds calling in the woods, we looked at places that were dry last summer and now have water running through them so deep we couldn’t cross, we wondered why some trees fall down. oh how i love this time in the woods with them. only made better by the company of a dog who manages race and leap with the grace of a deer through the spring forest.

after our walk we treated ourselves to lunch at our favorite bagel bakery. it is wednesday after all.

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everything is energy

yesterday we drove about a half hour away to meet some people organizing a waldorf homeschooling co-op.  we met them at a mass audubon site that i had never been to before.  while there some kids ran around a small garden area (mine were plastered my my side), we sat at a picnic table in the woods for a snack, and we spent some time observing a robin we found near  the public restroom available in the original home on the property that now seems to be offices and classrooms.

on the way home there was a conversation about what things are made of.  tap tap on the car window, “is this made of plastic or glass?” and so on.  perhaps inspired by our morning immersion in nature perhaps just weary of answer questions i stumbled up the answer, “everything is made of energy.”

and then the conversation shifted, “is a duck energy?”  yes.  “is a mailbox energy?” yes.  “is my carseat energy?” yes.  “is the road energy?” yes.  and so on and so on.  it sounds monotonous but it really was kind of soothing.  because everything is energy and somehow i find that truth mostly makes me feel light and free.

thoughts are also energy and i do believe that each thought we have has its own affect on the energy that is our universe.  every single thought.  based on this belief i find that i am drawn to the idea that sending white light and positive energy towards the area experiencing a natural disaster or a person who is struggling is much more helpful than feeling pity or overwhelming sorrow.  i believe that and i try to act on it.

but sometimes your horse is sick, and each time you think he might be getting better it seems to turn out that he is not.  sometimes you are trying to help your mom decide if it is worth the enormous expense to admit your horse to the large animal hospital where they might have a better chance of figuring out what is wrong with him.  then you will be deciding if it is worth treating.  what his quality of life will be like.  or also, is the trailer ride to the hospital too much?  and also he is going to hate the hospital and being away from his herd.  and also if he is going to be euthanized i want him to be on the property he knows in south carolina not at some animal hospital georgia.

then despite your belief in positive energy you find yourself feeling heartbroken, overwhelmed by grief, lost and confused and shocked that suddenly these are the decisions you are making.  wasn’t i just riding him the other day?  wasn’t i just down there and he was fine?

so you go into the playroom where there is a couch that your kids are not already sitting on and you have a good long cry.  what is there to do but cry.  and as you are crying you also knowing that the energy you want to send to this being that you love so much that is currently in pain, suffering, struggling is not the energy of grief and heartbreak.  you want to lift him up with the power of the healing light you are sending him.  you want to send him strength and love.

as you cry you also start to pray, “all loving universe please transform the energy i am creating into healing white light for lucky.  please transform the energy into clean strong healing energy.  all loving univerese please transform this intense heart ache into love and lightness that brings him some peace and comfort.  please please transform and heal.”

then you smudge his alter again, throw away the lunch you can’t eat, and make some tea.  everything is energy and all energy is transformable.  i do believe.

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