She Rides Copyright 2013 Sheri Gaynor
It’s the simple things that speak to me these days.
Braiding my hair, hanging freshly laundered clothes on a line, grooming the herd at Epona, walking with Blue along a fern-lined path beside a sandy-bottomed or witnessing birds migrating through this desert landscape on their way to parts unknown.
As I inhabit this new skin, I feel more authentic than I have in many years.
It’s as if I’ve come home to myself and to the woman I have always been: A wild, untamed, creative gypsy spirit. Somehow I lost connection to her along the way, but it’s healing to know she was quietly awaiting my return.
I realize it sounds cliché, but I feel it in the deepest part of my soul: A new rhythm is unfolding. It feels significant. The harried, fragmented pace of life no longer drives me. The desire to be seen, to be more, or to be “greater than” has softened into something approaching gratitude. Gratitude for what is and what has been.
I am coming to trust that I am already “Enough.”
With this awareness is a curiosity: what does “enough” mean? It’s a place I haven’t really known before. When I think back to the countless coaches I have paid to help me BE GOOD ENOUGH, I recognize with compassion the thread of addiction inherent to that particular desire.
It isn’t that I am giving up; it’s more that I’ve liberated the compulsion toward ambition and I trust the unfolding of my new path in this new way of Being. I trust it because I am living it. It won’t do to push the river. I know pushing will cause anxiety and keeps me from the quiet of the present moment.
What I can do is take the next step in front of me, as each new possibility presents itself. The horses have given me back my sanity. They have taught me the truth of who I am in my core. They see me clearly in each moment – there’s no fooling them with a bunch of Ego or drama.
My vision for the next step in my journey of a thousand miles is that I will remain here in the desert through the summer. I find myself putting down new roots. I have a wonderful place to live, I’ve made new friends and I have been offered a temporary fill-in position at Cottonwood de Tucson Inpatient Treatment Center as an expressive arts therapist. I live each day in the moment: checking in with my body, my mind and my heart. I am learning to listen to my intuitive wisdom – and not press what I call the “override” button – regarding my decisions and my life.
Much magic has happened in the last two weeks. Not only did I graduate from the Eponaquest program, but also a new equine partner has found her way to my heart. She called to me in a dream (which is a much longer story) and we’ve been spending the last couple of weeks getting to know one another. She came to me with the name Sunday, but she has many monikers, not the least of which is her new formal name **Dream Weaver Sunday**.
I know you’ll be wondering, “But what about Annie?”
Annie Two-Moons is with her other mama, my Colorado equine partner Susan Gibbs. After much angst and seeking lots of advice, I have learned that taking a Wyoming-born, Colorado pasture horse away from her life of freedom and transplanting her in the dry dusty desert – where horses live a very different existence – would be a selfish decision. It would be a decision based on my needs and not hers. I’ve come too far in this work to blind myself to that reality. When I return home in June, I will have formal closure Annie Two-Moons. In the meantime, she’s free to run through green pastures in Colorado in the company of her other mama and her herd.
As I write this awakening, I am sitting in the shade of the hay barn, where Sunday is boarded, overlooking the Santa Cristo Mountains here in Arizona. I am in awe of how far I’ve come. I look out at Sunday peacefully switching her tail, relaxed within the circle of her new herd, and I can’t help but think of Annie and my home, Colorado. My thoughts honor Annie not only as my journeyman (woman), partner and guide through the deep grief of losing my mother, but also as the life force who lead me back to my love of horses.
Annie will always be a part of my heart. I believe we had a soul contract – much like the one I had with my mother – to help one another through a painful and challenging life passage. The gifts she gave me are the treasures I carry forward in my work as an equine-facilitated practitioner and expressive arts coach. And now, with great pride, I can honestly call myself a Creative Cowgirl!