Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ghost in the Machine

I stood in the entrance of the barn, the air cool on my face. There was a thin layer of snow and ice on the cement floor; I was worried about slipping on my crutches. I hobbled into the barn and looked around. It looked like a haunted house - cobwebs in every
My subconscious sucks.
corner, darkness making it difficult to see, leaves and debris blown across the floor, the smell of old hay and brittle leather. Why was it so dark? It was empty of horses, but beyond that, it was... deserted, abandoned. The sadness felt like a weight on my chest.

The weight on my chest was the cat, staring at me, willing me to wake up and feed her.

Once I fell off Nifty, I didn’t lay eyes on her until the day her future owners came to check her out. I didn’t even head towards the barn until weeks after our remaining leased horse went home to Crown Point.

I don’t blame Nifty for my fall; in the beauty that is hindsight, I blame myself for not lunging her before I got on in the first place. Maybe it would have made a difference, maybe not; it doesn’t matter anymore. But I still feel betrayed in some way - by the horse, by myself, by my body for crumpling up in such a heap upon hitting the earth.

I'm still very on the fence about my future with horses. On one side it feels good to have the break from the twice-daily responsibilities. I certainly have more money in my checking account, which is a nice change. If Larry and I want to do something, we don’t have to take into consideration barnyard schedules. The chickens can fend for themselves until we get home.

Two weeks ago, I finally did gimp my way back to the barn. Uneven ground on crutches is, for lack of a better word, a BITCH. Standing in the doorway of the barn, I felt sucked into my very dream - to my surprise the barn floor was indeed covered in leaves, pine needles and dirt, the corners cobwebby and dark. In the tack room I ran my hand over my dusty saddle (it doesn’t take long for an inch of dirt to accumulate in a barn), knocked the cobwebs from my grooming tools and bulletin board with the horse calendar my grandmother gets me every Christmas.

People seem to be in two camps regarding my future with horses - there’s "Those damn things will kill ya, spend your time doing something else" and "You got back on the horse, right?" Personally, I feel both ways, depending on where I am at the moment. When I’m not around the barn, I feel like I can completely walk away from it all. No regrets. But when I’m in the barn, I miss the sounds and smells and grooming and cleaning tack. I miss the one-on-one with my animals. I enjoy being in the barn, caring for them, puttering around.

I’m sticking by my decision to take the winter "off." Not that it was much of a decision to be made - I can’t do anything and I couldn’t put all that work on Larry, which he handled the first 6 weeks after my accident. I’m the type of person who likes to make a decision, make a plan and BAM execute it. This indecision is making me crazy, and Larry’s been the witness of a meltdown or two (or three). But I can’t commit one way or the other yet. And as Larry keeps telling me, that’s okay. Despite my left brain wanting things all neat and orderly, it’s not something I have to decide right now.

Maybe it will come to me in a dream.

1 comment:

  1. I cried my way through your post. I could really feel your struggle. And indecision is such a struggle. But that's wrapped up in trying to control the future instead of allowing it to unfold. (Ugh - that's my struggle). Feel your way into it, my friend.