Thursday, July 31, 2008

This is Who I Am

All my life, at the center of my heart, there has been a love and a longing for horses. First memories - grandfather lingering over the fence, watching his beloved mare Gypsy. The smell - sweet sweat mixed with manure, this for me is the smell of heaven.

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to go horse camping at Cuneo Creek Campground in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. My first camping trip with horses. Me and Red on the trail. Him - "dang, you didn't say I was going to have to haul your ass for 40 miles (insert sulking horse face)." Me - "This is where I've wanted to be all my life, this is who I am!"

In the lives of children there is a magical moment that sometimes happens, someone really sees the child as who they are - sees their spirit, acknowledges their being. This can be a healing moment. It can be a life line to a child who is struggling is a sea of chaos and trauma. Being seen for who we really are is something that heals our hearts.

I was on the phone with my Dad who is 78 and recovering from 4 broken ribs. I'm telling him about our adventures at Cuneo Creek. He is happy for me. Since I've returned to horses in my fifties, stories about Red and Lyra have been a way we connect. Through telling my Dad about Red, I have learned much about my father as he reciprocated with his own stories about being a boy with horses. I never knew, never knew that my dad showed reining horses. A common thread running through our family. My grandfather worked with mules, adored his horses; my father riding as a boy; me - finally returned to the horse tribe that rules my heart.

So as I am telling my Dad about how much fun I had on the trail, he comments that he is happy I am getting so much pleasure from my horses. I say, "this is who I am." And my dad says" that is true, this is what you've always wanted, I'm so glad you found your way there." For me, time stopped in a blessed moment where I felt truly seen for who I am - something I will always remember. I am someone who loves horses - always have, always will. My spirit is fed by their presence in my life. I am grateful and delighted that at 55, horses finally fill my life. They have always filled my heart.

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