Pepper moved her head as I snapped the photo. She had been leaning into Bud.

When Bud was getting his orthopedic shoes fitted the other evening, we knew we had to bring Miss P. along to be his support system.

Whenever one of the horses has an appointment with the vet or farrier, both go.

They provide comfort, familiarity and safety for one another.

They are each other’s herd.

In The Book of Awakening, Mark Nepo tells of seeing two monkeys at Central Park Zoo, squatting on a stone perch, sleeping.

Amidst the hustle and bustle from the noisy onlookers, they slept.

He describes how their small, delicate hands were touching, their monkey fingers leaning into each other.

“It was clear that it was this small sustained touch that allowed them to sleep. As long as they were touching, they could let go.”

I thought of these monkeys as I watched Pepper stand with Bud as he got his new shoes.

Every so often he would lean into her, so that their flanks touched. Other times she would turn and rest her head on his back. They were small, brief gestures that communicated a huge message.

“You are not alone.”

Of the monkeys, Nepo says, “It was one of the most tender and humbling moments I have ever seen. Two aging monkeys weaving fingertips, as if their touch alone kept them from oblivion.”

He offers the perfect words for how I feel when I observe the comfort that flows between Bud and Pepper.

Tenderness.

Humility.

And I am reminded of the people in my own life that provide comfort, familiarity and safety.

The ones that interlace their lives with mine to reassure me that I am not alone.

What a blessing.

What a gift.

Thank you!

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