I’ve been away from the buzz these past few weeks. Time for the office and writing has been shifted to the barn. I’ve been taking care of two beautiful horses for a friend. As a result, I’ve fallen into my alter-ego and happily become a farm hand; but now, my friend has returned home and resumed the care of her animals. The fantasy farm hand in me is wrestling, resisting the return to real life…
I have no horses of my own, yet I love to ride. I love to tend and groom and love on horses too. I’ve never met a horse I didn’t make a connection with. Moreoever, I am particularly fortunate to have friends who allow me to get close to their animals. These past few weeks I’ve gotten very close to Dale and William–my friend’s horses. For a time, it felt just like they were my own. Now that I’m not at the barn twice a day, I feel kind of lost and empty.
I only started riding about six years ago; and then, it was just a try at St. Andrews’ therapeutic riding center. The first horse I rode was Nike, then Diamond; and I rode Diamond until he retired in 2006. Since then, my horse was been Max. He’s an amazing creature and when I’m on him, I feel 10 feet tall. Since beginning the therapeutic program, I’ve developed a love for horses that is soul-bottom deep–something I never suspected could happen.
One thing I’ve come to understand these past few weeks is that I could never have a horse of my own. The work and care involved is absolutely non-negotiable; and although my mind and spirit could accept that, my body couldn’t handle the physical responsibility. That’s a sad realization for me; however, I’m grateful that my fantasy farm hand archetype had a chance to play and be real for a while. It’s also gratifying to know that, given another chance to play, my boots are by the door and ready for more.
Today, my place is here–in the office. I can be happy with that. And it’s good to have a place and a purpose. But, you know, it’s good to have a fantasy, too.