Saturday, November 28, 2009

Temporary Rancher

Well folks, you won't believe where I am tonight (and have been the last three or so days in the mornings and evenings (and a teensy bit in the afternoons)... my friends barn where my horse Miss Sally Scamps resides.   My friend has been gone for Thanksgiving and asked me to take care of the horses.. which in Wyoming is called "taking care of the chores."  I have found that I am growing to love to do these chores when the need arises, and so have done so in the past.   But this time it seems so different.  I think its because its 32 degrees, an almost full moon high in the sky, and the most incredible peace I've felt in a very long time.  The lights for the stalls give off a beautiful yellow glow over the horses, and the cold night air feels very comforting to me for the first time in a very long time.  This place is an Open Range story in the making....

I just got done feeding and leaning my body up against Miss Sally for a bit, while she ate.   I find it amazing that this young mare of mine... is totally at ease with me leaning up against her while she entertains her appetite with a very nice portion of Alfalfa.   Amazingly and without my knowing it, she has found a place in my heart.  I didn't really know it until a few nights ago... the first time I leaned up against her like that.  Now over the last two nights, I have found myself eager to come and feel her strength hold me up as I completely relax against her, my head resting on her back... I even closed my eyes and found myself and my mind completely and utterly at ease, like the way you are supposed to feel when you lean up against the person who is most important in your life.  I am shocked that I once again, love the earthy smell of horses and their surroundings, even the asshole horse next to Sally has caused my heart beat to slow down a bit. :)

Back when I was young, a teenager going through college, I lived in a bunkhouse (heated with a kerosene heater during those oh so frigid Michigan winter nights) on a small ranch that was the home of 11 horses.  It was never a chore for me back then to muck stalls and feed and water and turn out and work those horses... well, Lunge them anyway....  ;)     But living in California changed me, and even though I had horses there, it always felt like a chore....who knows why.  The good news is these last few days have taught me to find my heart beat again.. not the one that always flips around and causes me panic and anxiety... (we all know that feeling) but the beat that I used to feel when I was young and no one was telling me what to do or how to do it, or more so.. that I was doing it wrong, or that it couldn't be done. The kind of heartbeat that you really don't even think about, because it wasn't bothersome or painful.

This Thanksgiving week while I've been responsible again for the lives of some horses, a barn and a few cats, I am taken back to those younger years ... and wouldn't you know it, I felt something in my chest tonight that really took me by surprise.  It was that old familiar heartbeat... I never knew I'd felt it before, but I must have because the moment I felt its calm and peaceful beat, free of stress and zaps and jolts, I recognized it....

ah yes, Temporary Rancher ... thats a good name for whatever it is we do that causes us to come back down to earth and recognize that old familar heartbeat.  :)  Have a beautiful night everyone.   And as always, God Bless.  
--  Amanda