When situations arise that cause us great pain, be it physical or emotional, often the best intended family & friends feel pity for our misfortunes. It is a societal misunderstanding to avoid the presence of discomfort, for without pain there is no glory, without darkness there is no light. As equestrians we experience the ultimate journey of highs & lows. Even in the most difficult times we must remember we are the lucky ones.
We are the lucky ones for we have breathed life into the chest of a struggling foal. We shared this breath and the power of our heart in the presence of new life just as we have in the presence of death. We have breathed the air from the last gasp of a dying mare. We’ve drawn in the last of their warm expire. We’ve kissed their nose and choked down the lump in our throat giving the illusion of strength in order to hold everyone up. Through the pain we must remember we are the lucky ones.
We are the lucky ones to see the sparkle in the eyes of a giggling child as they sit in the saddle for the first time. We are the lucky ones to watch tears fall from those same eyes as they pick themselves up after a painful defeat or a frightening fall.
We are the lucky ones to know a bond so strong that in the absence of that bond it tears us apart. We are the lucky ones to know loss because that means we loved, to know defeat will soon lead to triumph. We are the lucky ones that can get a pink ribbon with a challenging horse & be colorblind enough to think it’s the bluest thing you’ve ever seen.
We are the lucky ones that on this challenging journey of life, horsemanship & self development we learn you can’t see the sunrise without the darkness of the night and the red morning sky paints promises of a beautiful tomorrow. You can’t reach a mountain of greatness while safely crossing a plateau. You will climb the ridges and fall into the valleys only to rise again.
We are the lucky ones to know grit, to know passion and the fury of it that drives us through the storms. We are the lucky ones that through our sadness, defeat & grief we built a fire in our belly that will never go out. The same fire that drives us to keep moving forward.
We are the lucky ones to know if you try long enough eventually you will break a losing streak or earn the trust of a belligerent horse that continually tries to throw you.
We are the lucky ones who cry in the dark of a barn aisle during times the world seems so painful. We know in order to understand great joy you must know what life is like in its absence.
We are the lucky ones who’ve been kicked, bit or thrown for we feel the sunshine on our face while fixing fences. We feel the breeze in our hair while spending time in the saddle, which is our greatest and most comfortable therapy chair.
We are the lucky ones for numb wintertime fingers & toes that remind us of our able bodies & strong backs.
We are the lucky ones for labor that never ends & friendships forged while doing the hard work.
We are the lucky ones for nights that run too late & weary legs that seem to create giddy conversation in dimly lit barns among confidants created by the shared interest of a four legged beast.
We are the lucky ones to feel so strongly for our dearest ones that you carry their loads like your own, for it means you cared hard enough to really love someone.
This year has thrown us some particularly challenging times. Coast to coast people are suffering, struggling and figuring out how to get by. Through it all I know that we are the lucky ones. Don’t forget to appreciate the sunrise of a new dawn!