Seems as though we are constantly passing from one season to the next, embracing the death and the life of each transition. This season has been no different as we lost a good friend to a horrible tragedy, Jesse, our 7 year old lab died a tragic death just months after making our move. The grief I witnessed my husband experience in his loss was difficult to watch. Though knowing its all a part of the growth of life, the maturity of our hearts being reached, for every death we experience, there is always a rebirth of something new. And as always, the parallels of how the cycle plays out in life always amazes me.
We were finally able to retrieve 'Sierra Cancion', our last little mustang girl and re-unite her with her band. Our gelding 'Liberty' seemed to be offended somehow with her lack of desire to travel with the rest of the gang to get home, and thus was pretty hard on his dealings with her for a couple of months. As I watched even their transition, again lessons always learned from the horse. Over the last month there seems to have been a shift in their relational dynamic as they are now in-seperable calling to one another when they are grazing in the pasture, and tenderly giving affectionate scratches in the evening hour. 'Cancion' has always had a sweet disposition and I see her maturing and seeking her human companionship more and more with me as we spend our time together. One wonders if she is eternally grateful to be back 'home' as she roamed for a couple of months on the ranch without the presence of whom she called her 'family' on the prior ranch. Nonetheless, its been wonderful to watch them all settling into their new life here without the harassment of stallions and bachelors around every bend to threaten the security of their bonds with one another. I have seen a relaxed state of mind in them that brings much comfort.
Our summer started out with a busyness with projects here on the ranch we are caretaking that carried us well into our winter season. The winter here has been much like that we experienced on the northwest side of the mountain range. But, with much more ease not living in an RV and dealing with frozen water, and subzero temps with 2" of wall to separate us from the elements. I have enjoyed the new views, the quiet, the solitude winter brings, and the studio time that winter affords to produce and challenge myself to perfect my artistic skills.
Losing 'Jesse' after thanksgiving brought a somber time for our home, and I knew as the wound was beginning to close in my husbands heart over his loss, that it was time to bring in a new 'presence and spirit' into our home...how better then with a puppy! The search began as I started the quest through rescue operations across the western region. Within a couple of weeks I found a puppy, a bordercollie/heeler mix. He was adorable, and there was something about him in the photos that just spoke to my heart. It was an effort of 'the village' community of friends that made his adoption and transportation possible. I kept it a secret from my husband, Cip, which those of you who know me, know what a challenge it is for me to keep a secret, I am like a child who has to open a gift the eve of Christmas as I can't hold back my excitement, haha! So for me this was a huge achievement to follow through without exposing my crafty endeavor before it unfolded.
The night of 'Jonas' arrival (his name comes from the greek definition 'Gift from God') I was so thrilled to get him home into Cip's arms. In the process of his adoption, I was friended by a woman named 'Cherie' who was so incredible to make it possible to get 'Jonas' here from Arizona of all places. I made a great dinner and the evening was spent making new friendship bonds and watching Cip's heart open up to embrace 'the gift'. My husband is a slow mover, unlike me, I run with a force at times that is frightening even for me, haha, by morning he had made the heart shift of releasing 'Jesse' and embracing 'Jonas'. Understandably, Jonas will never fill the place of Jesse, but he will make his own deposit into Cips heart, and our lives. And so the journey with 'Jonas' has begun, and it has been a wonderful one at that!
The transition of death to life is rarely a pleasant one, but essential for us to embrace the fullness of all that life offers us emotionally, physically and spiritually. We can all recall chapters and seasons that play out in our lives, looking back upon them and seeing the growth that took place from that experience. In relation to the horses, I see how we have shifted from 'the wild days' on the prior ranch, even our domestics learning the lessons that range life held for them. To the present of new horizons, becoming more 'planted' in relationships and purposed and vision for future.
As an artist, my goal over this season and for the year will be to move it up a notch in my artistic ability, producing Fine Art that will surpass anything I have created thus far. To find my niche in its presentation in advocacy in greater measure for the wild mustang, as 2014 is the 'year of the horse' I am hoping along with countless others for incredible breakthrough for the promises to be upheld for the preservation and protection of a vanishing American Icon. This will be the year of continued training for our own horses, refining their skills and abilities to become greater riding companions as we move forward as caretakers here at the ranch.
In retrospect, though there has been much transition, and much of that transition, has felt as 'death' with aspects of our life as chapters coming to a close, its vital to recognize the chapters yet ahead, those open doors, full of promise, growth, and mystery. One thing I am continually challenged by the equine, 'to live in the moment'...horses don't worry about 'tomorrow', they don't dwell on 'yesterdays', they live in TODAY. They recognize the value and importance of death and birth... we can learn well from the horse, if we will listen. It is difficult to take hold of the new, if we are still clenching with tight fists to the old... I am learning an old lesson, still be refined... of letting go, and taking hold.