Tuesday, March 31, 2009

As Close to Nirvana

So on & on I go, the seconds tick the time out,
There's so much left to know, & I'm on the road to find out.

--Cat Stevens

I love to horseback ride. I used to be an avid rider growing up--showed & everything. In fact I was more than just a little horse crazy--ask my sister...even after I discovered boys I still rode as much as I could--a lot of horse crazy girls then drop the sport when they discover boys. Horses just made everything right. I think it had something to do with how riding made me feel. If I had a bad day, I could go into the stall & sit in a corner with the horse quietly munching around me & just cry if I needed to. Or I could lean against this big, warm animal & inhale its scent & everything would be better with the world. And that was before I even got on to ride. I think riding gets me as close to inner peace as I can get. When I was having my issues with the sociopath--the niggling doubts, the questions, etc., I looked forward to riding because it would all just float away. Everything. All there was was me, & the horse. Yes, I had to concentrate to get over the fences or make sure I was on the correct lead, but nothing comes close to that calm I get when I ride. All of the issues that we wear around us--self-esteem, built-up defenses, our self-doubts--well, that's all gone when I'm up there flying over fences. Wish I could ride everyday--I think I'd be a much stronger person. It is just as cathartic now as it was when I was a kid--I think I just recognize it now.

I hadn't ridden in 18 years before September of this past year. I was determined to get back to it after the divorce, & all the stuff that came in between. During the 18 year hiatus I used to dream about riding--I'd wake up & feel my muscles ache as if I had. When I got back on it was amazing. It was as if I picked up where I'd left off--I knew what to do & believe it or not, I was jumping fences on that first day. The level of exhilaration still hasn't worn off. By the way, don't let anyone tell you that riding isn't exercise--it is--all core & legs & it is very good for you. It's only the good riders that make it appear as though the rider does nothing & the horse does all the work. My son still can't figure that one out--he always says I look like I don't do anything up there--all I can say is that after a particularly strenuous lesson, I DO hurt & need a soak just like anyone else who's had an extra hard workout.

Riding helps exorcise the demons which crop up. Helps me to work towards the future & negotiate the past & attempt to be ok with it, & move on. I still lean on the horse & inhale the scent of nirvana.

Oh--I am closing the book on the ugly month of March. It has been a very difficult one from the beginning explosion to the whimper at the end--in like a lion, out like a lamb...

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