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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!


Yesterday I started this thread, thinking it would be a simple post. Here’s the link if you missed it.

What Holds You Up?

What I found as I continued pondering and writing, was that it isn’t a simple topic. But it’s been enlightening for me to work it through.

What indeed holds me up?

I wrote yesterday about people, who make up a huge part of my supporting foundation. Without them, life would be quite shaky.

To all of the people in my life, including those of you who take your precious time to read this blog every day, I send a genuine, heartfelt thank you.

But wait, there’s more.

Again, in no particular order, here’s the rest of my list of supports – at least what I’ve figured out so far. They are the things that make my life work.

  • Doing Art. I find that when I allow long stretches of time to pass without creating something, I get grumpy. My head is a swirl of color, shape and ideas that beg to be put into real form. I’ve only just realized how important this is for my mental health. The good news is that it feels like play rather than work. And who doesn’t love to play?
  • Spirituality. I have a deeply held set of beliefs that ground me and help me feel safe and cared for. I try to read something each day that feeds me spiritually. Right now I am enamored with the author and poet Mark NepoThe Book of Awakening has helped me enormously.
  • Spending time in Nature. My daily forays to feed my two old sweeties, has helped me immensely with my need to spend time in nature. I’ve learned that I need flowers and clouds and trees and rivers as much as food and water. I hope you get an inkling of that in some of my photos.
  • My Animal Friends. I am blessed to have wonderful, loyal, loving animals in my life. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t share my life with a cat, or dog and now horses. Animals are amazing teachers and help me learn so many valuable life lessons. Mija, Bud, Pepper, Phoebe and Izzy are some of my current teachers, and I am really grateful to know them.
  • Writing. I love to write and have done so since I was a girl. I’ve learned lately that when I don’t allow myself time to write, I miss it. Like doing art, writing is one of the pillars of who I am.
  • Music. I sing. I’ve told you before that I sing to the horses, I sing in the shower, I hum at the computer, I sing when I drive. My life runs the smoothest when it has a soundtrack accompanying it.
  • Self Care. This is a familiar topic for most of us. We can scarcely open a magazine, newspaper, or blog post without seeing some aspect of the need to take care of ourselves. I have learned for myself that I do best when I get enough sleep, eat food that is good for my body, and build some kind of daily exercise into my schedule. (Still working on consistency with that last one!)
  • Making a difference. I know this may sound a little too “touchy-feely,” and like the overly naive statement you might hear from a nineteen-year old contestant in a beauty pageant. And it also is one of my truths. It’s important to me to do meaningful work – to reach out to people, care for them, and share their journey, helping when I can.

Okay, that’s it – my list so far. I know there are other things I haven’t yet been able to articulate.

For now though, when I’m able to live into these, my life works pretty darned well.

Like those stacked up bales of hay, anchored with two long wooden poles, I’m supported.

Thanks for listening and helping me to be accountable.

P.S. Happy, Happy Birthday to Judy and Ros. You are beautiful, dear women.

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