Sunday, November 22, 2020

A Goal To Sing

 I Worried

Mary Oliver

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?
Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?
Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows 
can do it and I am, well,
Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?
Finally, I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.

Isn’t this perfect? I worry about everything, not so much in a stressed out oh my god kind of way, but more like if I think of everything that might go wrong, I can fix it ahead of time so it doesn’t. 

This of course takes its own toll, and manifests in a lot of to do lists and a running monologue inside my head. The horses have taught me other ways to be, and I’m grateful to them. 

On Friday and again yesterday, instead of mucking pastures, I began to clean the tack room - most importantly the tack. For someone who has not ridden in over a year, this is singing, don’t you think? Holding the reins in my hands, lifting the saddle, its weight and heft, gauging which length of stirrup and leather I might need as I clean them.

It was a lovely day, and Keil was good, and while I am not setting a goal to ride him again, the possibility that such a thing might present itself was potent. Cody was hanging around as if making an offering, and I imagined taking him up on that.

When I walked across the top of the front pasture, this is what I saw:

The X is Gebo, the rune of gifts and partnership, and the sun was there glowing like a beacon of light, not at the end of a tunnel, but omnipresent and all knowing. I know the optical explanation for the two orbs, but am taking them to be my first horse Bo-Jinx, and Salina, hanging out with the herd and letting me know they’re here. 

I remember my first ride as a child holding the reins, feet in stirrups, and I remember the first ride on Keil Bay, in a sunny indoor arena with mirrors at one end, hardly able to believe that the woman in the mirror was me. Keil Bay sailed us through the sunbeams that day. A month later he came to live with me.

I see the next ride, the culmination of every ride, but without the worries. Just the song.


Grey Horse Matters said...

That dialogue couldn't describe me more perfectly. I worry about everything too and like you not in an oh my God sort of way. I just like to be ready for any scenario, which I never am of course. I think we all have to learn to sing and forget our worries and just live in the moment like the horses do. It's a tall order though.

You don't need to ride Keil Bay ride someone else. Just get in the saddle and walk around the ring for a bit, you'll feel better and forget planning and to do lists.

Love the sky and what you've interpreted it to mean.

billie said...

Yes, you are so right! Sending a big hug your way in memory of the dear O’Grady.