Monday, December 13, 2010
Mud and Growing Up
Yesterday, my husband told me that I needed to improve my outlook because all I was doing was sending out bad energy. Easy for him to say, sitting in the sunshine in California with the rest of our family enjoying themselves on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I was engaged in a battle of the elements here on the East Coast. We were getting two inches of rain, which was flooding the corral and our basement. Tonight, it’s supposed to be followed by temperatures in the 20’s and lots and lots of ice. The horses don’t have their borium shoes yet, and the farrier can’t come for another four days.
Once again, I was feeling sorry for myself that we were having bad weather with all its drama when my capable, strong, hard-working partner was out of town. It seems to almost always happen this way. Over and over, every couple of hours all day, I bundled up and shoveled and drained the ditch and cleared the water out of the basement with some small assistance from my very grumpy fifteen year old daughter. We also put up the Christmas decorations and hung the ornaments on the tree by ourselves, missing my mom, our dog and our kitty. It took all my effort to keep going, dragging along a child who wished non-stop that we were with Daddy and everyone we love in that warm, sunny place where we used to live.
I could hear the rain all night long, waking up at 4 am with all of my worries to keep me company. I got up expecting the worst: a flooded barn, more water in the basement. Instead, my labor had paid off, and it was dry downstairs. The corral drained well, and the frozen moon craters were soft enough that I can smooth things down before the freeze tonight. Siete didn’t want me to pick out her hooves, but instead of forcing the issue, I left her alone to eat her hay. A few minutes later, I came in through the back door of her stall, and she very willingly let me take her hoof and clean it. At that moment, I had this interesting realization.
All of this challenging physical work helps me and my daughter hold onto an important part of who we are. I’ve never been very coordinated or strong, so small victories like I was experiencing this morning mean a great deal to me. It reminds me that I don’t need someone to help me make it be okay here. It keeps me from getting too attached and dependent on my husband, but at the same time, it helps me appreciate the things that he does for me when he is around. It teaches my daughter that she can make it through difficult situations on her own. Most important, as the rain stopped, so did my bad energy.
I listened to a conversation that poet David Whyte had with the founder of “Sounds True”, Tami Simon, on the Internet this morning. He was talking about creativity and originality. He said, “Start close in. Don’t take the second step or the third. Start with the first one, close in, the step that you don’t want to take. “ He believes that it is the only way to find the courage to “get into the fierce center of the conversation”. He encourages us to open up to vulnerability. “Once you actually turn toward vulnerability, not as a weakness but as a faculty for understanding what’s about to happen, you can transform your life in a way which is quite extraordinary.” I feel like I faced the deluge this weekend, in full awareness of my weaknesses, and it didn’t drag me under. Now, if I can extend that acceptance of my vulnerability to other areas of my life and do the best I can as the situation unfolds, I might actually be able to look back and learn from it. I guess I'm not done growing up yet.