“She needs wide open spaces, room to make a big mistake”. Dixie Chicks, my friends. Remember? I loved that song. Still do. And these photos I snapped the other day during a bit of a storm reminded me of the lyrics. When I made the decision to move my family into the barn here at the stables, many people were skeptical. Even told me not to do it. I couldn’t fathom why anyone would criticize an opportunity for such an experience. It wasn’t as if I was going away to prison. Or signing my life away. I wasn’t joining the military. Or leaving for a third world country. It’s a barn for crying out loud. It was an opportunity that presented itself so perfectly and with such possibility that I couldn’t pass it up. I knew there would be challenges. I did my usual pros and cons list that I rely so heavily on. I’m not great at decision making. Hard work, yes. Commitment, yes. Changes in life and routines, yes. And adventure that many wouldn’t ever see and memory making….YES! I feel like this has always been who I am at heart. I have jumped on adventure. I have lived all over the world…in England, in Ireland, in Japan and had many unique jobs and experiences. One day, going on around three years ago, I sat down and wrote an “intention letter” assignment for a class I was taking at a spiritual center. I realized that what I would like to see back in my life was adventure. I had settled down, married, had a child and found myself living in this current small town for several years now. I was afraid that I might get “stuck”. But I was also so very happy “stuck” here and raising my family. I longed for something new, challenging and adventurous that could still coincide with my settling down-happy-little-family life. Moving away, traveling, taking a job in another country just didn’t seem to fit anymore. I felt happy. Our business was thriving and growing. My daughter had solid friendships. We loved our spiritual community. Leaving such great things didn’t seem to fit. An adventure still did. It was less two years after writing this letter that I was invited here.
To live, work and play. To dream. And to give my daughter an adventure to remember. “Room to make a big mistake”!!!
As I have passed our one year anniversary here, I remember those nay-sayers, the negativity that some projected, the caution that I even had going into this. But, what really stands out in my memory is the realization that life gives you what you need when you need it, if you let go and just accept you can have and do incredible things, to live life with passion, grace and a sense of adventure, to give yourself room to make a big mistake without letting the fear of a “mistake” guide you away from an adventure, a dream, something fun. Nothing is forever. Jump in head first, swim in the opportunity to learn, be and do something great. Enjoy. And, if it isn’t exactly perfect, you can always head for that next adventure. Enjoy it while it lasts. And, then set your next intentions. The freedom sometimes is in knowing you create your reality, your happiness, your place in this life-however it may show up. Cheers to that!
Hows that lyric end? for nothin’ left to lose. Today I set out for freedom.
You see, my horse. The one I’ve blogged about before. He has been a challenge. A wonderful challenge. We have gone from a bucking maniac to a horse that trail rides, arena works, JUMPS, took second all around in five classes in an English show with one of my students on him. Really, one and a half years of work with this guy and he’s become a wonderful horse. Our last hurdle (I hope anyways) has been venturing out on trails ALONE. A touch of the back story…when I got him I wanted an easy trail horse that I could go out alone on trail rides with. Well, my guy of course took that opportunity to show me the mirror. Show me what I needed to learn myself. I thought about giving up and just getting “an old quarter horse”. Nothing against Quarter horses of course. I love them. But I had to go for something different. That could be a whole different post topic with a psychological twist, but ….anyways. We came through so much. I have been working with him on going out on the trails, the mountain and the ranch land alone. He gets nervous and jumpy. Then, I get nervous and jumpy. We take a little bit at a time and then turn back so we can end on a sucessfull (and, you know, still alive) note. Well, well. I wanted to head out on our own last Sunday. The stable was overwhelming. Everytime I walked out my front door there was someone needing something. Heck, I had three knocks on my door and another person outside yelling “Hellooo?” before 10 AM. I saddled up for my ride and, I kid you not, as I’m mounting a car pulls in full of teenaged girls wanting to see the “rescue horses”. I can’t believe this. I need a break. Please. Peace. Please. I smile and direct them to where the “rescues” are so they can look at them. I let them know they can come back tomorrow (Monday) if they are interested and want further information. Bless them for their interest and hearts for the rescues, though. Really. Then I hit the road, to the trail, to the ranch that is wide open land for riding as far as you could ever want to go. And, today, it was different. I just so deeply felt the need for solitude. For quiet. For peace. Did I already say please? My nervousness took second place to this need. My horse felt it too. He must have. Because he stayed calm and cool the whole way. We went all the way out…through the ranch gate, through the ranch land, we ran. Oh did we run. Full circle back to my title here. “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose”. I needed so deeply that FREEDOM, that solitude and that quiet that my fear and nerves subconsciously stepped back and let me have what I needed. That is a rare thing but when your need “rears it’s head”, remember there is no stopping you.
Left behind boots. That was my first clue. Walking down to my horses stall, I came upon these left behind boots. I thought they were worthy of a shot. So I took one. Only to find out, as my morning progresses that two or three of our “resident cowgirls” had decided to forego their boots and (for some reason) head off on their horses barefoot and free. “Natural Horsemanship”…..? I think it could qualify. These girls! My first thought was (I will admit) how UNSAFE! And, my second thought was how BEAUTIFUL. I do remember those carefree days and I wish them upon my daughter. No matter how I may worry and fret, I want my daughter to know carefree, bareback, barefoot days on horseback that nearly no mom would approve of. As my little one grows, I have to remember there will be times to turn the “blind eye”. But it will be in honor of who she is and the freedom she seeks. It could be worse, believe me, it could be worse. Here’s to freedom, bravery and childhood. I wish to bring some of it back into my own life!