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Rivers of Change

“What people have the capacity to choose, they have the ability to change.” Madeleine Albright

Things are changing in the horse world. There’s a growing tidal wave made up of people who no longer desire merely to ride horses, but more importantly, to seek a trusting and strong relationship with them. Riding may or may not be included. Seeing that we give them the best possible care, is.

Things are changing in my internal world too. As if marching into my 50’s wasn’t enough, I’ve started ruminating on how I wish to spend my time this next half of my life, and what shape it might take. This includes building a stronger relationship with myself. I’ve been quite happy (?) to want what others want, to choose what others choose, and to remain quiet when I needed to speak instead.

Horses do the same, don’t they? Go along, do what we tell them, stay quiet until they cannot. Until we start listening to what they have to say. Every horse I’ve done my best to hear has taught me valuable lessons, even the ones who didn’t feel safe enough with humans to communicate. Every horse has led me to the next step on my path. I’m grateful to the horses who have trotted through my life because without them I wouldn’t be exploring new places, either within myself, or the wide world.

Speaking of quiet, that’s the word that’s been tapping on my shoulder regarding the blog I’ve kept since 2013. It’s not that I’m no longer inspired by horses. It’s that writing magical realism novels has nabbed me by the throat and held me hostage in front of my computer. I love horses, and I love sharing what I’m learning about them. But I’m taking a break blogging about horses. My writing time is now devoted to writing stories, as I’ve done since I wrote my first book at eight years old; as a teenager I secretly dreamed of being an author. Three published books later, and I’ve decided that I am what I used to dream of being.

“Progress is impossible without change. And those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” George Bernard Shaw

There’s a metaphorical river I need to cross, and the only stone I can see to put my foot on is the knowledge that I need to shift some things, let stuff go, pick up other stuff, turn the volume down on some things, and way up on others. Not too far up, though; my hearing is unreliable enough. I can’t see where the next stone is, or the one after that. Or even if the danged stone path goes all the way across this particular river. But I am very sure it’s time for me to put my foot on that path, and find out where it will take me.

I’m crossing my fingers that the river I’m looking at isn’t called Styx. At this age, I find myself wondering about topics like that. Topics (like death), not many of us are comfortable facing, especially our own. I’d like to face them now, comfort or not, because something inside me is waking up, and I’d like to know what she has to say.

This internal shift means that I’m re-evaluating my daily habits, my morning habits, my eating habits. I’m chucking out attitudes that are so shabby and worn I can no longer remember who gave them to me, or why I still wear them.

It’s an exciting time, this midlife stuff. Sobering, too, but mostly exciting. The reason I wanted to write this blog is to let y’all know that I will still have a website, but it is soon to have a new home. And I might shuffle my blogs around and do something different with them. We’ll see. That may be several stones away in my path across this river.

“We cannot change what we aren’t aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.” Sheryl Sandberg

As I’ve read back through the years of blog posts and revisited your kind comments, I’ve been brought to tears and laughter. Y’all give me hope for the human race, and that is no small feat. The gratitude I feel for how each of you reached out and shared your own life and experience, well, it’s nothing less than spectacular. I hope to see you around on my socials, or at a clinic, or perhaps in our online Classroom. More than that, I hope you and those you love (humans and animals and nature alike) navigate your own rocks across the river and discover new places.

The next time you set your first foot outside, stop for a moment.

There, can you feel it? Can you close your eyes and let the wind embrace you? Can you hear the birdsong or the caw of a crow burst through your ears and take flight in your heart? The river waits for all of us, whether we sense it or not. But we can’t cross the watery expanse until we take the first step.

Worlds of possibility are in that first step. Pause, and take it in. There will never be another moment like this one.

“Your life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change.” Jim Rohn