I don't know what it is about snow that causes me to be retrospective or perhaps melancholy would be a better word. On these long days when seemingly everything outside is a variation of white and gray my thoughts turn to unfinished business in my life. Those defining moments in life that have left you broken and with over whelming regret leaving you longing for the chance to erase it all and be offered a do-over in which you could relive the moment and make everything right. While we all know in the real world do-overs don't exist we can come to peace if we will but forgive ourselves. An act of kindness which is much easier said than done.
As far back as I can recollect I was a cowgirl. In fact I was a cowgirl long before I even knew what a cowgirl was. I didn't let the fact that I lacked a pony or a horse deter me, I just had to be a little creative when securing a mount which would take me over the hills and rough terrain I was to travel. I had my red corduroy cowgirl outfit my grandma made me, my black boots and red hat and I was good to go. Many years later I would go grow up to be the cowgirl that once upon a time only I knew I was and every dream I dreamed and every pray I prayed to God would come true. And then one day it was all gone and all that was left was me and a heart ache bigger than I could ever imagine.
Despite the fact that every painful decision I was forced to make was done with the best interest of my animals in mind, I couldn't forgive myself for failing them. I missed all my animals terribly and I mourned the loss of not only them but of myself. The life that I loved, that defined who I was and what I did was gone. The only way I could deal with the pain was to convince myself that me was gone, didn't exist any longer. For a long time I tried desperately to find a new me. A mold I could step into that felt as right and comfortable as the old me. But try as I did nothing ever felt right. I always felt as if I was pretending to be someone else.
Now don't get me wrong, I was by no means unhappy. I was settling into my new life with Jackie and in my personal life I was happier than I ever knew I could be, however Jackie knew there was something missing also. Bless his heart he tried to help me find the missing piece but it was nothing he could fix, it was something I had to do. And out of the blue one day a woman called me and asked me to come look at her ailing horse. I told her I didn't think I could help because I had been away from horses for a long time. She persisted and reluctantly I agreed.
When I arrived at her farm I was led to a round pen where she had the horse waiting for me. I walked up to the horse and laid my hand on his neck and honestly it took my breath. As soon as my hand touched him I could feel the hurt coming out of my soul. And then after a moment and much to my amazement all the years of my training and experience took over and the old me took over. Words cannot describe how wonderful it felt to feel me again. Jackie who had gone with me noticed as well. On the ride home I allowed myself to think something I hadn't allowed myself to think about in a long time; could I once again let horses into my life and risk getting hurt again?
That was the beginning of my journey on the way back to me. It has not been quick or without struggles and honestly I will not ever be exactly the same woman I was. I had been hurt so badly I decided that it would be better to deny who I was and let myself go than to risk getting hurt again. I have resigned myself to the fact that I will never get over the loss of my horses, that scar will always be with me. But I now know the scar doesn't define me; it is merely added to my other scars which taken together with the far more abundant joys, happiness and memories make up the story of me.
There is a video that exists of me taken when I was breaking a horse for someone. I was galloping their horse thru my pasture and just like out of a movie all my horses galloped along with me. It was probably the happiest moment of my life. I saw the video once and I have tried unsuccessfully to obtain a copy. And while I would desperately love to be able to watch it on a screen I have a copy in my mind and in my heart and I can promise you I have watched it often.
I believe we all have something in our life that we have allowed to effect us in a negative way, hindering or hiding the real person we are. And while we may fool ourselves and others for a while, there is one we never can fool. God. He looks upon our hearts and He always sees the real us. And while I will always remember, God has shown me how to forgive myself. He will do the same for anyone who asks.
Until we meet here again, I pray God bless you and keep your loved ones safe.