My friend honored me by taking me to visit the farm where her horse lives alongside lots of other horses in a sheltered nook very nearly in the middle of the D.C. suburbs. I love that about Maryland, how even as urban as it is, you can be on a regular main street with stores and subdivisions and all that, then you take two turns and go a mile or two and you're suddenly somewhere that looks like this:
Under astonishingly perfect blue skies, we walked and talked and she introduced me to the horses as they feasted in buttercupped fields. Each horse is a complete individual in appearance, personality, and life experiences. They seemed to welcome a stranger in their midst with the grace that accompanies being safe and secure in a beautiful place. I was greeted with curious approaches, noses dipping down for rubbing and scratching and the particular thrill of an arching neck curving right around my shoulders to see what I was doing. Their great, warm bodies pressed against me were so powerful and huge, but while they were calmly grazing, I felt no fear at all, only a sense of wonder at being so near. My friend has given me a standing invitation to go there any time I need to dial out of life and just be calm. I hope I can take her up on that offer.
The final flourish on our day together was lunch at a great little family-owned restaurant and perhaps the nicest Rueben sandwich I've had in a long time. And of course that cherry pie. "Aahh" is the word that comes to mind at this point.
This friend is new in the timeline of my life-we first connected about sharing a box of blueberries only a couple of years ago, but it feels like I've known her much longer than that. How grateful I am for the wonderful way that just the right people come into our lives at just the right times.
One thing I want to remember about this day is that I didn't feel rushed or heading for a deadline or like I needed to meet expectations. I was in that rare state of just being me and taking things in as they came. I came as I was and my pal and the horses were fine with that. How I appreciate those moments in my life that remind me that it is not always all about getting out and doing and producing. This day, there was no outcome, just the present. Sky and grass and quiet conversation among yellow flowers and that awesome horse smell on my hands and gritty, flowing manes and swishing tails and soft sounds of horse-contentment and munching and great eyes that looked right at me, blinking and wondering. It mattered to me that I could move through the time we spent together moment by moment, no checklists in sight. Checklists and outcomes and production have become the habits of my life, and this was a good reminder that sometimes, all that producing can be set aside to just exist in whatever circumstances are presented to me.
Thanks, I needed that.