• vslachman

Carry Your Own Weather

My friend Danielle Anderson's recent, lovely photo of her horses grazing at sunset.

None of us have ever been in the situation we're now facing with the Covid 19 virus. If you have your horses at home, you have your built-in centering, calming presence right out your back door. I board Dorian in Illinois, and that state has been closed down and will be at least until April 7th, and maybe longer. So my bond with Dorian has become totally a mental one, since I can't go to the barn. I'm very grateful I've cultivated that over the years, and now I can reach out to him in thought and connect. It's so reassuring to me and I know many of you are doing the same.

Part of our journey is learning how to carry our own weather with us, so no matter if it rains or shine, we don't lose our ability to be patient, kind, and come from a place of love rather than resentment . . . a place of patience and respect regardless of what happens around us. Yoga teacher Baron Batiste.

Baron Batiste's observation is something I've been thinking about a lot in these days of fear and turmoil. When someone comes to mind, I reach out to check in make sure my friends and family are doing ok. For my colleagues at work, I do the same.

What I love about this video is the joy. That's one thing. Simon and Dorian are the best of friends and they love playing together. They, obviously, have not one thought about the virus. They don't feel the fear running rampant in our world at the moment. They exist in a world vastly different from the one we seem to be inhabiting.

They "carry their own weather" as effortlessly as the wind ruffling their manes.

My daughter, Lauren, on a recent trip planting a kiss on Dorian's cheek. Well, who wouldn't!

As the virus hit nationwide, and the day before Illinois closed down, I drove to the barn to have one last outing with Dorian before he'd be sequestered. As I drove up the roadway, I was suddenly able to breathe deeply, something I hadn't been doing at home. Of course I didn't realize that at the time--it was only as I entered an environment of natural serenity that I realized I'd been almost holding my breath for most of the morning.

That, I think, is what fear does to us.

Peaceful grazing, even in the rain.

I got out and retrieved Dorian from the pasture, cleaned the mud off his legs, took him to the indoor for his last round of rehab for a while. Walking the pasture, a deep calm settled over me. It occurred to me that there wasn't a reason in the world that I couldn't feel that way no matter where I was. At home, in the park walking Lily, at the frenzied grocery store picking my way through empty shelves . . . how I felt, what "weather I carried" was totally my choice.

A great reminder, I think.

So here's what I've been noticing lately . . . the little robin has made a nest this year in my holly tree.

And the trees are in bloom.

And the swans are gracefully circling the pond.

I'm not advocating being Pollyannish. We need to be wise. We shouldn't ignore the precautions or be callous towards those who are suffering. I try, every day, to thank at least one person on the "front lines" working in hospitals, groceries, and patrolling our streets.

At the same time, and as much as I'm able, I also take this forward into each day--that I am well, and you are well, and no matter where we are, we are navigating this together, each one--if we choose to--carrying our own and the world's collective weather with the grace of a swan and the innocence, courage, and strength of our beloved and spirit-filled horses.

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