Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Who said tomorrow never comes?

Its evening time now and I am trying to wrap my mind around what the next twenty four hours will hold for me. In plain English here’s what I am talking about. Tomorrow is my last day at the job I have had for two years and three months. It’s a job that at times I have considered myself the luckiest woman in the world to have. At other moments however, the grasp the job has had on me has been as strong and demonic as Charon’s hand. Yet somewhere between the two sensations has existed a mostly happy medium. And through my time there I have been inordinately blessed to experience the lives and progress of many of our 18 equines.

Most people who know me from out hunting know me as the girl/woman who rides the really big grey Irish horse. That would be Bode who was mentioned in a blog entry a few days ago. He has most assuredly been the highlight of the past two years. I don’t know how best to explain the bond between him and I, it’s just very strong. I will be the first to admit that about a year and a half into the job I wanted out, but I couldn’t bear to part from Bode, so I stayed. I’m not wholly sure why I am any more ready to leave him now, but my heart says it’ll be ok. That being said I have cried the last 3 times I have ridden him. I’m a sap, and I need to emphasize this. I can cry at the drop of a hat. But in the past week the tears have been coming more frequently.

It is the time to move on, hopefully to bigger and better things. The job doesn’t need me, nor do the horses, the farm, or my employers. I will undoubtedly miss almost everything about the place. Maybe I won’t miss weeding the ring in the summer, nor cleaning sheaths on 13 geldings and the days of hiking through 3 feet of snow to feed everyone, might be ok to leave behind. You all know this moment though: Can I actually be leaving the only thing I have done for the last two years?

The answer is “yes.” But the moments between conceptualizing it and actually doing it are not always the easiest to make yourself believe in the new reality. The most common metaphor for these situations is to relate it to a toddler taking its first steps, or a child going to their first day of school. We all accept with our grown up knowledge that the end results of these two hallmark moments will be success and more forward progress through life. But when you are that toddler, or the kindergartner you can’t see the forest for the trees. You’re surrounded by fear, the unknowns and just a general uneasiness at cutting that first new path through life’s meadow. You push down each clump of turf feeling the squish beneath your weight, not knowing that years ahead the grass will be no more and a worn dirt base will be your own Moses moment as you part the grass sea.

Each step we take forward on life’s path allows us to go towards what we hope for. Each gaze we steal at the past a totally normal reaction as we once again leave the ‘knowns’ of the comfort zone and go into the new territory. I won’t lie to anyone, I am scared. I know this job, these animals and nearly every inch of the farm like the back of my hand. The only thing that gives me comfort is the fact that I have done the best I could. Sure as the days are long I wish I could have changed some things that happened. But regret and failure do not pollute my mind. No, my mind carries with it the best moments of days spent with hounds, lonely walks through glorious woods, and the quiet times that I simply stood with these lovely animals and thanked them for allowing me into their world.

Tomorrow will come. My size ten boots will again trample some roots and push asunder the innocent blades beneath me so that my life journey can carry forward. And in this moment I will think of a quote from an article title from decades ago…

“Take only memories, leave only hoofprints.”


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