Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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Friday, April 04, 2014

A horse, a woman and life

Today I celebrate life-all around me. As I did my morning feedings, I took time to lean on Boone's fence and watch the lambs and flock, the blue sky was one giant window above me-where does it go? Who knows, but I let my face look up to it, merge with it as I closed my eyes and I felt my heart inside me. I felt my mother there too, probably checking in one me as she went about her new realm,

"Just checking in to see how you're doing!" I can hear her say it, just like a phone message.

There is something good about getting past the "first year of firsts" after a loss. While the loss is always there, lurking, ready to pop out and catch you and draw you in if you let it, there is healing in Father Time.

It is also Boone's 16th birthday. BOONE! Boonie. Boo. He's my horse of red who lets me ride him to old cemeteries so we can sit and gaze out at the fields of cattle. The same guy lets me dress him in a red check table cloth and load him up with lavender to be in a parade. We've come a long way since our meeting 6 years ago when my confidence was lacking as a leader for him. He knew, horses know in an instant. He was never mean, but he was lazy and out of shape. I can relate in ways. We worked through it though, with lots of riding and lessons and now I just feel like his leader and part of a team. We are very similar in ways-still a bit lazy sometimes as far as exercise goes but not like before. We enjoy each other. I really feel he enjoys our times together.

Love me some Boone.

So, I will be with him later today, maybe a ride, maybe just some hanging-out-in-the-sun time.

I will leave you with two thoughts. One, don't give up on a horse before you've really spent time riding him. Find a teacher to help, and a safe place to learn and gain confidence. Take baby steps together. But ride, ride, ride. Time in the saddle is what it is all about. Consistent time.

Secondly, don't give up on life during your loss. Grab on to it like an anchor. Find help if you need it. Don't let anyone tell you to go at their speed while you grieve, don't let anyone tell you 'should' be painting more or doing this or that more to move on-who says? People hate to see others suffer I guess, it is uncomfortable for them. But if you don't suffer loss head on you will suffer in other ways, down the road or through passive aggressive encounters. Life here is so fast. I can't believe Boone has been with me 6 years.

I must always look at life first-it is why I am here-to live here. Plenty of time to be in the next realm. Grief is a creature, it lives on its own terms and it is a challenge to live with it but you learn to find ways to recognize triggers, and ways to respond to those triggers. Sometimes you fall in a crack though. I am finding in the past week-the week of the anniversary of her death-that my body was really sensitive to a lot things, and I purposely slowed myself all week. I rode, walked and such, but I let my body feel quiet. I had my wine but I was careful not to fall into over eating or overindulging. I made myself feel that quiet sadness that is there-but then I said

"Hello, sadness, I feel you, I get it, it's okay you're still here, but now I will pat you on the head and enjoy this beautiful moment with my husband or animals."

See more of Boone >


NancyGeneArmstrong said...

A very nice read. I thought the big lessons would be from my youth but I am finding knowledge and lessons are still to be learned. Never to old.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post. More lessons as I age but so much more revealing. All creatures pay attention to nuance, ot's us humans that are often too arrogant to listen.

Katherine Dunn/Apifera Farm said...

Nancy, I think somethings maybe we learn over and over, or we knew them and keep making the same mistake per se, but that is where self compassion comes in I guess. I have some habits I've been working n forever...sigh...Corrine, true for many...

dulcy said...

Did you write this post for me! I'm just past the first year of losing my Mom. Feeling a bit more normal, but still feel the huge hole. Also, into 6 months of riding lessons at a wonderful place here. It's a bit scary at times because I worry that I'm too old to be doing this, but teacher is a trusted friend. I love grooming and just being near the horses! I volunteer out there with a children's reading program where they get their own book and get to come out and learn about horses and read to them. It's all good!

Katherine Dunn/Apifera Farm said...

Dulcy- you are NEVER too old-My riding buddy is 82! Thanks for writing, and I know the path you are on with your loss. We are lucky to have had so much to miss. I'd love to get a reading program going here with the Misfits!

Terra said...

Boone and you are beautiful companions as you move forward from dark times to light times.

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~