Sunday, March 23, 2008

Shadows in the Pond

Our past employers purchased my good horse, Shadow, when we moved from the ranch. As most of you know, I'd been told to never ride again, so it was with mixed feelings I left Shadow behind. I didn't even go out to the barn to "say goodbye" to him. Why put myself through that? He really wouldn't know the difference. We'd had 12 good years together.

His new owner loves him so much and sends me pictures every once in awhile of her riding him. She's so proud and happy with him. And those pictures always made me cry.

However, a couple of days ago, she sent me a DVD that her aunt had made of her riding Shadow in the arena and also through the pond on the ranch. My old friend Shadow stopped to paw the water and splash and play, his rider revelling in his joy of life.

And miraculously, I did not even feel a hint of tears as I watched. I truly felt happy that he is so well-loved and appreciated. He is 17 years old and has a good home where he's already lived for seven years. I could not ask for more.

And I myself am really learning to accept my new normal and that feels good. It's all about adjustments and blessings and dusting myself off and getting back on the road of life.

Last night, I watched an episode of "The Soup," a comedic show on TV which makes fun of the stupidity of much of what is on television. I never watch it, but last night, I guess my mood was right.

I went to bed and was talking, as always, with my husband about the show and also about our neighbors across the road and I got to laughing so hard, I couldn't talk. (Our neighbors live amidst a lot of trash and I was venting in a humorous way about our frustrations with having to look at their yard). I had not laughed that hard in a very long time. And when I was done, I felt
the familiar electrical impulses and pain from nerve compression. Laughing is a "valsalva" manuever, as is crying, coughing, sneezing. It's a literal strain.

Good Friday was two days ago and four years ago on Good Friday, my life changed forever when the horse I was riding threw on the brakes and stopped in front of a jump. It WAS a good Friday. I lived, I'm walking and talking and with my family and able to carry on and live and sometimes, in spite of the payback, laugh really, really hard.

And yesterday morning, my 82 year old neighbor to the north of us called to visit. Esther is a lifelong (now retired) ranch woman who ranched for many years in Elko County, Nevada. We have friends in common and also livestock. We talked for 90 minutes about mustangs and cowdogs and cows and ranch kids. We both need it like a cool draught from the trough at the foot of a windmill.

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