The air smells of dirt and horses. The wind whips through my clothes, swirls across my face, bringing the cold kiss of spring, and reminds me that I am still alive.
Rooted to the ground. I have not disappeared, fading to non-existence, as I feared.
Breathing slowly, in…and…out…in…and…out. My body reminds me yet again that I am still here.
It is a simple thing to be alive. Yet it is another feat entirely to feel alive.
Peering through the bars of the round pen I see my horse standing still as a statue while the farrier works on his feet. He is not frothing at the mouth, throwing his head in stubborn defiance, or rearing to escape. Still as a statue he stands. Feeling his energy I mimic him by watching calmly.
I will myself to breathe and plead with my brain to let me stand here.
Just let me stand here without panicking and crying uncontrollably, sobbing and heaving in distress. Just let me stand here. I send my silent plea to the Universe hoping it is heard. As if he heard, Argo looks into my eyes, and meeting his gaze I feel him speak to me. He recognizes my face and knows I am his person.
There are moments between horse and rider when you become one. Until you experience it the feeling is difficult to explain. There is a silent recognition that occurs when your gazes meet. Horse and rider move together across the landscape, traveling fast as the wind, and in that moment you are one. There is nothing else in the world like it. It is a powerful and insurmountable high that no one who has ever experienced it can forget.
In that one moment when Argo looked into my eyes I felt our silent recognition. Reaching out to me with his deep brown, gentle eyes, “I see you,” he says. “You came and I have not forgotten you.” Our eyes connected, willing myself to breathe, I answer his call, “I am sorry. I am sorry I have not had the strength to be with you. I have not forgotten you.”
They always forgive, that is the beauty of animals. They love unconditionally and do not pass judgement. We humans have much to learn from them. We simply have to be willing to listen.
As the farrier continued to work on his feet Argo remained still as a statue. Amusing himself with the task at hand he gently mouthed my Mom’s jacket and hat with his big soft lips. I have never felt more proud. You would have thought he was a child I’d born myself as I stood, silently watching, and bursting inside with pride. How calm and still he remained.
Maybe, just maybe, we can get back to that place. That magical place when rider and horse are one.
There is a special place in my heart for this performance. Click here to watch the magic.