Thursday, April 23, 2015
It has taken about two days of prep work to get me ready to go. This is my first solo camping, and my first AERC ride so I hope at some point I get a little more streamlined about what I need and how to put it together easier. I have to thank Ed- he truly has earned his “horse husband” award/title as he’s helped me with fixing the corral racks to my trailer, organizing my pile of stuff into a well packed truckbed, and I credit him with being completely ready to pull away tomorrow with only needing to load my horse and dress myself. I would have a whole checklist left if I were left to my own devices.
This left the rest of the evening to have a simple dinner, watch a Game of Thrones episode, and then take a little hot tub time while Ed exhausted from a long day hit the “hay”.
The hot tub is a sanctuary here at Stillhouse Cottage. Often the two of us have a drink after a long day and it is the place (besides the kitchen) that Ed is most likely to tell me about his day. Sometimes it’s quiet reflection, sometimes it’s joking and chatter… When I am alone it is one of the few places I am truly quiet.
When I was going through my divorce, my younger brother said something to me that I will never forget. He (as king of the inner world) said to me (queen of external activity): You have to find time to be still, to be quiet. To just sit with yourself. And people just don’t look up nearly as much as they should. These things are important.
I do not take much time to be quiet and still. I like being productive. I like moving and doing. Yet I do know that balance is vital, and moving here was a choice that I hoped would help remind me on occasion to find some stillness.
I am thankful for Ed who has helped me find more stillness- both in example (he is so much better than I am at this) and in action. If I wasn’t completely ready to pull away my mind would be bustling with to-do lists and schedules for when I have to get up to be moving out by what time…. Instead I sat under the stars and tried to find some quiet in my mind while also looking up. I watched the change in the light of the moon between the tree branches as clouds rolled past and I breathed cool night air mixed with hot tub steam. These are the moments I try to file away in a cabinet in my mind for some future time when life is not good, when loss comes, when sadness overwhelms or when events beyond control create a paradigm shift that changes things forever. At the end of a life too long or too short- this is one of the moments I hope to unlock and hold once more.
I left a life that was not right, I took a leap of faith into adventure and I can remember times when I wondered if I had lost my mind completely, and if I would succeed. I’ve looked at possible financial ruin, left behind family I still miss, and walked through a tunnel to a new life that I believed was the right path. On a night like tonight I think of where that path has taken me- a professional life that is gratifying and full, a family of friends- the vibrant cross section most people could never imagine, connection to nature around me: rivers, trees, animals, flowers… spending time in it, enjoying local meats, fruits, vegetables, literally milk and honey… and I’ve found the love of my life as well as pets I cherish and enjoy. My home is a welcoming place that I feel happiest surrounded by love. (Of course all things have ups and downs- but I know this is where I belong, and have never been happier).
All I could do is bow my head before the God of the universe and ask why? What have I done to deserve such blessing, riches and love? Nothing. There is nothing I could possibly do. It is not because of me that these things are here but because of the very nature of God. It is humbling to consider. And I always hope I enjoy and appreciate the sweetness because joy and sorrows are always somehow connected. Life does not offer one without the other.
So for now I bask in the joys. The stars, the moon, the night air, and the fact that my truck is completely packed and ready to go on a new adventure tomorrow.
Thanks for joining me- my journeys never seem complete without someone to share them with. Thank you for being part of my world… and wish me luck… tomorrow we pull away for Star Tannery and the No Frills Ride.