The Mouth of the Sky

Hi, friends. I’m sorry I haven’t posted for nearly a month. Much has been percolating inside this summer, as I’m sure is the case for most of us. I have been staying at my sister’s place in Pesotum, Illinois, where she has just started a therapeutic riding center called Healing Horse Stables. Today was the 2nd class through the Champaign Park District, with 8 riders and 4 horses and many volunteers making it work. I was nervous, just like I was for the first class last week. I don’t deal well with so many variables–riders, horses, different saddles and bridles, stirrup lengths, side-walkers (in case some riders are unsteady), barrels to twine around and balls to throw in buckets. So I just sweet-talked the horse I was leading, kissing her nose when we stopped, telling her what a good girl she was being. I survived being in the maelstrom of all that chaos by focusing on the horse. When I was most nervous, I closed my awareness down to just her–her brown eyes looking around, her sweet horse smell, her need to get out of the way of other people and horses.

I suppose if there’s a bigger idea here it’s that this is one way to get through the chaos of our everyday lives: narrow the focus. There is so much, both outside of us and inside of us, clamoring for our attention. And though we often believe we should be in control of it all–especially what’s going on inside each of us–sometimes we need to let go. We need to know that we’re not in control of everything, and we don’t have to be. The storms will rage, inside and out. The rivers will rise and overflow; the wind will pull down tree limbs; we will get lost in the fog. Maybe what we need when this happens is one thing to lean into, just one. One song, one bowl of ice cream, one horse, one walk, one hug. To let the rest happen as it will.

And then maybe we, like the sky in this picture, can sing out light when the time comes. We can always hope.