Soul Places

Befriending the Soul through Inquiry and Creativity

Tag: horse

Steeping in a Tea of Magic

Handsome

Handsome

I used this phrase for the first time over a month ago: steeping in a tea of magic.  I couldn’t describe the feelings I felt of being so grounded and peaceful any better than that.  And these were new, exciting feelings for me to have for any length of time.  Usually I vacillate between “just surviving” and “depression” with a tiny, barely-worth-mentioning dash of adventure thrown in there.  So when these lighter feelings started to stick around, I paid attention.

As some of you may know, Handsome, my horse companion of over twenty years passed away in February.  That experience and transformation on both our parts changed me forever.  Still changes me.  I like to give him all the credit for the gifts he gave me in living as well as dying, but I had an important role too.  I had to be present to the pain and torment I felt in his last months and days.  But most importantly I had to be present to his message and gift of a love so huge, it chokes me up even now.  We prayed for a miracle and it came two days before he died.  He led me to a place where I transcended everything I thought I knew about my life.  My heart broke wide open and I knew we would always be together, just differently.

That’s when I began to steep in a tea of magic.  Our experience two days before he died lit the fire that warmed my tea water.

My mourning began the boil.

And my life as I now know it, is steeping.  And may steep indefinitely.

But what about this phrase, with its magic and steeping?  I liked it well enough.  It felt magical.  Intangible.  Mystical.  Like setting foot on the planet of my life for the first time.  But why did I like this phrase so much?  Why did it capture so well exactly what I now felt?  I turned to the dictionary:

Steep – verb – 1. to soak in water or other liquid, as to soften, cleanse, or extract some constituent. 2. to immerse in or saturate or imbue with some pervading, absorbing, or stupefying influence or agency.

Oh yes!  I was all those things!  Softened in heart.  Cleansed by so many tears.  Illusions extracted.  And then imbued, impregnated, with the magic of potential.  How can one word both remove and saturate?  I became stupefied, all right!  And more whole than I’ve ever been – a process I hope to continue with indefinitely.

I look forward to continuing this steep for a long time.  Handsome is forever close, real and strong.  The magic I feel is real and strong and now.  It’s indescribable without cliches; so I won’t even try.  I leave you with a clink of our tea cups and a prayer that you find your own tea of magic to steep in.

Blessings and Smiles, Diane

Handsome and Diane

Handsome and Diane

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Eyeball to Eyeball

Handsome the Teacher

Across the wide forehead in the chiseled face of my beloved Arabian horse are a few white hairs hiding under his thick, black forelock.  Autumn has bestowed Handsome with the beginnings of a multipurpose, fuzzy winter coat.  With his nose buried in his feed bucket, he mischievously and cautiously looks about, eyes just above the rim of his worn, purple pail.  He is cautious of the other herd members milling about, a constant source of competition for food.  The mischievous glances are for me.

A while ago I shared my amazement, jealously really, at a spiritual sister’s ability to receive loud, clear responses to her prayers.  She said simply, “I ask that Spirit speaks loud as I am largely deaf.”  She is not deaf in the physical world, but apparently she is in the spiritual world.  My only proof that this worked was her bewildering results.  I thought I’d give it a whirl.

A few days ago I shared with Handsome my desire to hear him.  I requested that he speak loudly as it is my wish to have a more intimate relationship with him.  He fills his bucket with sighs that signal his understanding, echoing off the walls of his pail and floating up to my ears.  The next day I am sitting on the ground with his bucket between my legs.  Over the last month, he’s taken to flinging his food out of the pail, sending me into brief attacks of panic and defeat.  There is medicine and other expensive supplements in there.  “Please don’t waste it,” I find myself pleading with him.

Today he flings his food most determinedly and then puts his oily, intense eyeball inches from mine.

Stops chewing.

And waits.

In the first breath I think, “you defiant shit!”  And in the next breath I feel something shift.  I soften as I return his gaze.  We are frozen in time.  Immemorial.  Our souls embrace like long lost friends and I feel like we are transported to another space in time.  I am in his world now, the spirit world.  The place I’m meant to live while here on earth, a more connected universal plane where words are more of a distraction than a mode of communication.  Sounds dreamy.  And it is.

Be here with me.”  Is his message.

He is so right.  My mind had wandered to what I was going to do when I got home, what I was going to right about in my next blog, what was for lunch.  I was with him physically as he ate, but my mind was elsewhere.  He had spoken loudly to me and I got it.  Now I look forward to our eyeball-to-eyeball time, our soul-to-soul time.  Handsome is an amazing teacher, intense and perfect.

How I Handicapped My Life

Me Galloping in Ocala, FL

I spent two exhilarating summers in college working at a horse racetrack where I started as a groom and worked my way up to pony rider (escorting racehorses to the starting gates) and then exercise rider.  One of the most interesting tidbits I learned there was how the horses were handicapped to make the race more equal for all participants.  The handicapped horse, the one that needs to slow down, is fitted with a saddle pad that has pockets for lead weights and the predetermined amount is loaded in there.

The weight assigned to the horse is called an impost and I can understand the need for it when the jockey and saddle do not equal the weights of the other riders and equipment.  But the idea of handicapping with weights beyond making each equine carry the same load became very absurd to me.  By trying to even the playing field amongst all horses, the handicapped horse or horses are running in a pack of animals not exactly in their league.

I didn’t think much of racehorse handicapping once I left the track, but a few weeks ago it became apparent to me that I was wearing a trench coat with dozens of these pockets full of lead.  And as I searched for an empty pocket to stuff with the most recent travail, I realized the insanity of what I was doing.  I was just plugging along in life, taking each difficulty as a personal attack, more suffering, another lead weight.  Pretty soon I was so handicapped that I was racing right along side other victims, creating more suffering for myself.

That's Me in Complete Bliss

When my eyes became open to the phenomenon of handicapping my own life, I tried to participate in “negative” experiences instead of just taking things as they came – another lead weight.  It became about being shit on by a bird, saying thank you and losing a lead weight for it.  Once I made this shift in my attitude, I became so much lighter in spirit and was able to cast off that injurious lead-filled trench coat.  I know that there will always be unsatisfactory circumstances, but I now know that I can adjust my reaction to them and receive all kinds of accolades for my efforts in the winner’s circle.

Walking Out to the Exercise Track