Trying to Find Stillness (8 weeks)

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I can’t seem to think of a summer that wasn’t crazy, but this one has been insane, stressful, and almost frantic.  I wasn’t fully prepared for just how stressful pre-departure would be!

In the midst of work, class, preparations, and time with family and friends, I’m trying to find quiet times where I can enjoy my horse, my dogs, and the countryside.  When I’m outside or with my animals, it’s easy to be quiet and at peace.  This past week, I’ve ridden my bike several times (hello, sore legs) and taken walks down the trail with Grace, my horse.  And every time I walk through the door, my little doggies try to convince me to take a nap with them!

I love rhythm in my life, and my schedule is definitely bringing me to my limits on rhythm-less-ness this summer!  Week-by-week schedule changes are really throwing my time for rest and quiet off-balance.  Yet there’s one constant—every morning, I go feed Grace and her pasture mate, Dolce.  I love to watch them slurp up their beet pulp mash, their heads popping up every few seconds to check their surroundings.  I love it when I drive up and they’re standing by the gate nickering at me, but I also love it when they’re nowhere in sight.  I pull on my rubber boots and wade through waist-high grasses and a sludgy creek bed to the other side of the pasture, dotted with cedars and Russian olives.  I call for them, but they rarely come to my call.  Instead, they hide out, waiting to see how long it will take me to find them.  I love coming around a cedar tree to see the look on Grace’s face: “Mom!  You found me!  Yay!  Can we have breakfast now?”  I love crouching down and watching Grace’s inner struggle unfold: curiosity battles with her desire to graze alongside her buddy; curiosity always wins.  “What’s up, Mom?” she seems to say, extending her muzzle and blowing in my face.  Then she lets me wrap my arms around her neck and inhale the distinctly earthy smell of horse and grass.  These are the few moments of stillness in my crazy summer; moments I realize will be gone all too soon.

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