Saturday, 26 May 2012
Okay. Let's talk curve balls, shall we?
My seven year old and I decide to take the miniature horse, Ringo, (age 6 months) and the puppy, Buddy, (age 16 weeks) for a walk on the beach at low tide- approximately 5:00 pm.
Rocky, the big horse that is in the photo on my blog, and who is my soulmate, had to be left behind. With Dad gone there was no way I could take Rocky and the seven year old and the puppy and the miniature for a stroll on the beach.
As we amble away, reluctantly of course, because Ringo doesn't really want to separate from "dad," I observe that Rocky is having some major separation issues- per usual and typical horse behavior. Rocky is prancing, bucking and whinnying as if he is asking us to PLEASE reconsider and bring his "herd" back to him, miniature though it may be.
Our walking menagerie makes it to the beach and we have a nice half hour session of "this is what we do when we walk on the beach" (preschool teacher voice in place) with the babies of the family.
Upon our return, the minute I see Rocky, I am stunned by a blaze of bright red. For a moment my mind says, "is that a piece of red material on him?" Within a nano-second reality hits, and I realize what I am seeing is a huge, fresh, gaping shoulder wound which, upon closer inspection, shows far too much muscle and fascia and inner workings of a horse than any blind eye should ever see.
I must admit that part of my initial irrational response harkened back to the many old American Western movies I had been raised on. You know the ones. The horse limps. The Cowboy pulls out the gun and puts the poor lame one out of his misery.
I'm brought back to reality with my seven year old's chants of, "We'll never leave him alone again . . . We'll never leave him alone."
Fast forward to four hours later- which is now. The vet, who had to be over the age of fourteen but didn't look it, made an emergency visit. She pondered whether Rocky should be stitched or if the huge flap of skin should be cut off and the enormous wound left to heal from the inside out; the latter won upon consultation with her senior large animal vet.
I cannot complain one iota about Dr. Youngest of All aka Sarah. We are sisters now. She explained every single decision she made and drug she injected while my horse-crazy-new-neighbor and I played assistant trying to keep the extremely drunk half ton beast (who thinks he is my baby) from jumping in our laps (i.e. killing us), holding flash lights and bags of drugs high enough to be gravity fed with the large dosage needed to inject my Rocky numb.
Drunk, staggering half ton dudes have a magical way of producing major rushes of adrenalin in their caretakers.
Rocky will be okay. Ends up horses are really resilient and with a mega shot of antibiotics Rocky's six inch by ten inch wound should eventually close up on its own. I have anti-inflammatory meds to give him daily and I think my baby will be getting lots of carrots and apples as well.
In the mean time, while my partner is gone, which is literally as if my right arm is missing, my new neighborhood reached out and put their arms around me. First a fine young man came to our support and then later delivered a huge freshly smoked fish to my kitchen for us to have when our work was done. "This is what we do here, we take care of each other." It's the second smoked fish from two different families we've received in four short weeks. My horse-sista neighbor played nurse and support person as if we'd known each other for years rather than weeks. Other neighbors brought warm homemade pumpkin soup, apple juice and a flashlight.
That is community.
I live on Kakariki Street ("Green" in Maori), and yes, I must agree with my neighbors, this may be the best street in New Zealand.
It appears that I couldn't ask for better back-ups when the curve balls fly.
Life is synonymous with "unpredictability."
I am constantly and humbly reminded that it is impossible to accurately predict how our own inner peace, balance, structure, routine and health will lie on a day to day basis-- let alone how others close to us are fairing on their daily life journeys.
Recently we have had major reminders of how fragile the delicate web of life and relationships can be and watching, not only our own reactions to these changes, but how others react, has been one more of life's interesting lessons.
Everyday humans receive tragic news about themselves or others, experience illness or injury, difficulties in the home or workplace. That unpredictability is the essence of what forms our lives.
Although it can feel like a beautifully orchestrated piece of music when we have periods that run smoothly, almost effortlessly, life will remind us not to get too comfortable, to expect unpredictability. That doesn't mean to have an anxious view of what may happen to you or others, it's a simple reminder to let go of the illusion that EVERYthing will run smoothly day after day.
Create a nurturing nest. Have a back-up plan that allows you to feel grounded and centered when the proverbial sh*t hits the fan. Maybe it is your meditation practice or just some nice and easy deep breathing. Maybe it is certain soothing music that helps to center you or aromatherapy that can help keep you in a healthy here and now. If you don't have that nest to fall back on, find some joy in creating that practice or space for yourself.
Practice gratitude. For every day that does go by smoothly and free of negative surprises, stop and tell the Universe a simple thank you.
Stay in the moment. Anytime you find yourself predicting negativity may be around the corner- let that be your cue to STOP and return to the moment.
This moment is all that is real and true.
This moment is the only thing we know for sure.
We lose the here and now if we let our minds play games with perceived stressors.
Look around you.
You are not negativity.
You are not stress.
Your are fundamentally pure love and light.
Just. Be. There.