Once upon a time
. . . sometimes we don’t pick our life’s purpose; it picks us.
Probably over a decade ago now, a friend of mine asked me to go with her to a fortune teller. A FT that charged a substantial amount of money. Dragging my heels (yes, heels!), I went and left with much regret that evening thinking ‘what I could have done with the cash’. In contrast, my friend was happy with the prospect of a new love interest that would lead to a Walton’s type ‘happy ever after’ homely set-up. It was what she wanted to hear.
In contrast, I was plunged into a roller coaster reading that lasted an hour. My future forecast had nothing to do with me, I protested to my reader. There was no sign of a love interest and no vision of any in sync ‘happy family goodnights’. She looked at me with both pity and frustration as she regrouped the cards, after she looked into my eyes and held my hands. And she sighed many times. I even remember a polite pitiful apology. She knew what she saw, she could not change: fate!
You see from start to finish, horses permeated her vision of my future. I was there (she pointed again and again!) leading them out of dark valleys and towards a better life. I was there holding a lantern guiding them and they were following me. One of the cards she showed me bore an uncanny resemblance to me. I laughed as I told her that the last time I was on a horse, he threw me off, and that is where I parted ways with equines. His name was Guinness and I was 16 years old. I only went riding on a weekly basis to keep another friend happy. So, I asked her to try again. She replied, ‘I or my cards can not tell you a lie!’ and she wished me well with the horses. ‘But there are no horses . . .’ I said as she led me out to the front door.
… and here I am, years later, the reluctant rescuer and feeder. It all started when driving my pride and joy, a little convertible, one sunny Spring day. Thinking life was good, my gaze was diverted to her. ‘Her’ being a pony tied up an embankment at the side of the road. I didn’t want to see her; I was going shopping. But I indicated and pulled in. Surveying the steep walk ahead of me if I was to check her out, I looked at my shoes, and then I looked at her staring down at me. With one step forward and a few backwards, I eventually reached her by grabbing onto newly planted trees up to her. Yes, we had a moment that I can not put into words, and without thinking, I said out loud, ‘you are not staying here! I am getting you out of here. I promise you!’
She was tied inside steel barriers and she stood on ground she had dug up from pacing up and down – as far as her 4 foot rope would allow her. The guilt of having nothing to give her probably imprinted on me, that now my car is never without food for a horse. So, I told her, I would be back, and as I literally slid back down to my car, I was faced with a few puzzled faces as I said ‘goodbye’ to a tethered pony.
‘What are you doing up there with my pony?’ asked one of them gruffly. I didn’t reply and I just made my apologies as I passed them to get back into my car. My quick exit didn’t materialise thanks to a bad battery and leaving hazard lights on. The rest of that story is for another blog!
So, years later, I can tell you, those cards did not lie. I’ve been and continue to be in testing ‘valleys’ but I’ve felt the relief and exhilaration of the peaks – when horses are rescued and find a place to call home. Seeing a horse run towards a gate knowing ‘his/her rescue day has come’ when transport arrives, draws both tears and smiles. Rescue days give you memories that you will take with you forever. Seeing horses run to a gate when they see you pulling up with feed is so rewarding. Not being able to take them is equally heartbreaking.
I guess there is one piece to her fortune telling that I hope will never come true but time will reveal that. For now what remains constant is them: beautiful horses let down terribly by people called ‘owners’. For now my whole being is dedicated to the horses that cross my path.
Recently, sometimes when I am away from them, I want to give up and run: run back to my other life, the life that I look back on like a tourist now. What remains of it is a wardrobe of glittering and glamorous clothes far removed from wet gear and boots. There are stacks of books I once looked forward to reading and piles of A4 paper with ‘the beginnings’ of new books I planned to write. What also remains of my lost life is framed photos hanging from walls of a stranger that shares my name but not my life now.
But, when I’m with them, I want to be no where else.