New lesson learned. I think I now have an inkling of what is is like to adopt a baby or a young child. I have been considering a horse for Twilight ever since Emily passed away. Twilight has been melancholy and been calling me to the barn morning, noon and night. The minute I come out she whinnies and races towards me, and demands we groom one another.
When my old beau sent me the U tube of Frederick the Great, I had Friesian on the brain. I asked Twilight about it and she seemed pretty excited about the idea.
I Googled and found a Friesian for sale. Nope. Didn’t connect. Back to Google.. second breeder. And there he was - Gerken - I walked into his stall and he put his big head on my shoulder and pulled at my jacket. I name him Mr. Pickles and told him I’d be back when his breeder would let me take him outside for a walk.
I took a piece of his mane to show Twilight and she sniffed and sniffed and seemed very happy about my choice. She wanted to meet him.
I tried to arrange a trial visit, but the breeder would have none of it.
It was all or nothing. I was in. I went to the bank and borrowed way too much money. Mr. Pickles was to arrive on Valentine’s day and was renamed Valentino.
The five days of waiting for his arrival was surprisingly tense. Could I know how to be with such a lot of horse? I had brought Steve and Michelle to see him and handle him at the breeders. They really liked him, but I know Steve worried. He kept reminding me how big he was.
Big. Strong. Powerful. It was exactly what attracted to him. No one in our household had that strong masculine energy. Valentino didn’t scare me, He gave me vitality. He made me feel safe. Healthy. I wanted to be around a strong healthy being who was the essence of what I longed to be surrounded with.
So why was I feeling stressed? All the reasons I can imagine an adoptive single person might be feeling. Am I enough? Will this new creature fit into our family? Will Twilight be happy? Will Annie feel safe? Can I really afford to raise such a child? Be there for him as well as all the others? Am I too old? What will happen to him if I pass away? Do I have enough room? Will Twilight feel jealous? Can I give the new horse enough exercise? Is this the best home for him? For us?
I actually got the flu and was sick for three days. In the pouring rain, Ilica, Belle and i prepared the stables, the yard. We gave him the big stall and organized so he’d have walking about room, access to the water and arena but kept separate from all the others, especially Twilight, though they could all talk and touch one another if they so desired.
The breeder was late and we all stood in the pouring rain, alert with anxious waiting.
When he stepped out of the trailer, his huge presence filled the air. He took our breathe away. He didn’t seem too happy to be with us. He stood firm, refusing to budge. The breeder pulled on his lead rope, trying to pull him to the barn. That made us all want to burst out laughing. Good luck! He called for his assistant to encourage the horse from the rear and they brought Gerken, aka. Mr. Pickles, aka. Valentino to his new stable.
Twilight was watching, wide eyed, ears alert, forward. Everyone was oowing and aawing over this new creature in what was her extra stall. went to her and invited her over to say hi. She approached, a bit tentative. They both whinnied. I held my breath. Would they great one another with elongated faces, ears back, ready to bite? Or worse, raised hooves, raised to strike?
What did they do? See for yourself. Their first embrace.
Twilight leaned towards the new member of our family; he bent his big head to hers and their faces touched and held. Two beings in the right place at the right time. No, three, Me watching. too full to speak. Adoption: successful.
OMG, did I say successful? We’re way beyond successful. Not only is everyone living together already, with no separation, sharing stalls and food and moving about with total freedom, but Valentino is in love with the place and can’t believe his good fortune AND Twilight is madly in love (and lust) with him. I am so relieved, delighted, hilariously happy. Last night I went out for my late night check on everyone and both Valentino and Twilight came running to greet me.
We stood in the moonlight and shared a pear, each of us taking one big juicy bite. They war so polite. I could feel their breath. smell the juice from their lips, me, standing there between this huge magnificent horse and Twilight, my magic soul mate. I slipped by hands under each of their manes and felt for a moment that they would carry me to the stars.
Was this really me, standing here, with them on our land? How did this happen? How did I get here? What great gift from the gods moved me to know this would be the right thing to do? To sell my home, to buy this little farm, to fill my world with such majestic beauty and terrifying responsibility?
A cool wind blew across our faces and as I leaned into Twilight’s warm body. a silken lock of Valentino’s thick mane fell across my face and Twilight’s and we were, for a second, indistinguishable. We were one being. Riders often describe that sense of oneness with their horse. I longed to ride, but my ancient body refuses to be open, limber, strong enough. So far, anyway. But does it really matter? Could there be, in the whole world, a feeling closer, richer, more connected than this?
They released me, the moment gone and I returned to the house, slipped into bed. But my mind wasn’t yet ready for sleep. I turned on the lamp by my bed and began to write:
I was four when it began
Mostly hands at first
Now over sixty years later
I never awake but without a start
My heart wild jumps
My body frozen with anxious waiting
Until I remember
This is my house
Those are my horses breathing in the field
My llamas watching at the gate
Those are my chickens waiting for doors to open
Into the vegetable garden
Those are my trees and flowers surrounding me
Knowing, protecting, loving
And I can stop my heart from racing
Slip my bare feet onto the cold floor
And rise into the day.