The horse's pasture to the East...

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Sometimes things happen. Last Monday I did a number on my back. It isn't really very serious, but I had muscle spasms that kept me from being able to walk or get out of a chair. I back (pun intended!) tracked to what I probably did. I threw hay bales. BIG MISTAKE. It wasn't something I needed to do. I could have waited for help, but ohhhhhhh nooooooooo...had to do the pride thing and do it myself.

Lesson learned. I haven't been able to play very actively with Lucky at all this week, or even take care of all my chores by myself. I even had to call my husband home from work to take me in to get things checked (scared myself silly. Thought I'd done something to my back.) when I couldn't get up out of my chair.

I promise to do my best to remember to swallow my over sized pride from now on and ASK FOR HELP. Ever so often I have to hit my head on the wall hard enough to do damage, to get these little messages that life sends me through this thick, stubborn skull of mine.

Not being able to do, do, do like I usually do (love playing with words like that! You can almost hear that bosanova beat, can't you?) has forced me in to a quieter place, a more Zen kind of place. Maybe I did this on purpose, trying to slow myself down? If I did, it wasn't a conscious choice. But the inner me sometimes finds ways to slow down the outer me, the brainiac who takes over. I call her the "Evil Aries Nancy". She's hyper goal oriented, snotty, boastful, puffed up and driven. Most of the time I have her under control, but last week she got the better of me and now I'm paying for it. sigh. Lesson learned the hard way.

I've spent this last week in a legally drug induced state (don't much care for that either), drifting through my days. I get things done, but at a very slow and deliberate pace. Lucky and Apache love that, by the way. About all I can do is go out and be with them, maybe groom the upper part of their bodies and then just hang like a leaf. I've been walking with the help of one of my hiking sticks, one I bought nearly thirty years ago in the Grand Canyon. It's made from the heart of a saguaro cactus by the Havasupi (Native Americans who live in the bottom of the canyon).

It's old and worn and kind of greasy and dirty where my hands and my sons hands, as little boys, used it. It's one of my "old friends". We've shared a lot of miles, that stick and I. John calls it my "Yoda Stick". I hobble out to the pasture and just stand there on the top of the hill, watching the pond, the grass, sky...whatever strikes my fancy. I'm not there for very long by myself. Lucky, Apache and Willow end up next to me, grazing and watching too. In that amazing Zen kind of way that horses (and donkeys. Willow would be quite upset if I didn't say that.) do, we just exist in the moment. No thinking or worrying, just standing and being.

Both of them, at one time or another, have come up to "groom me" on my back too. They rub their nose and teeth gently back and forth right where it hurts. How do they know where to rub? I can't answer that, but both of them did. I just relaxed back in to it and ... didn't think. I've done that every day now for six days. And I think I've discovered something, or at least re-realized it.

Remember the section in your old Level One pack that suggests you spend a 1/2 hour doing nothing with your horse...just sit on a box or blanket and do nothing? Try it in their pasture, their space on their terms in their time. And do it with no itinerary, no time line (you don't have to be under the influence of a drug to enjoy it either.) and no reason except just to breath and be. It's magic!

Do any of us allow ourselves time to do that anymore? If I take anything away from this, it will be that one thing. Don't forget to just "be" with your stand and watch the world and breath. I found places inside myself that I'd forgotten about...places that I went to when I was a child and time had a different flow to it.

I think I'm becoming addicted to this "flow", this state of Zen. I haven't felt this good, even with a sore back, in more years than I can count (and today I'm not using the drugs either, so it's not that). And Lucky and Apache? "All of a sudden, for no reason at all" my draw is like glue! We've become a true herd. They've been following me everywhere, and softly too. I love the huge sighs and back rubs.

Does it get any better than this? Yes....and Zen some.

I am ever yours, Nancy Yoda, meditating my way through my days...and smiling.

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