It seems I am still cursed with egocentricity. Always thinking that what is happening is about me.
I learned the lesson that it wasn't, finally, years after that moment where I felt that connection on the back of the horse and the arena walls melted away and I was encased in green and gold. A moment of connection to life everywhere. It only took two decades to later realize that in that moment, there were two of us there, not just one. So then, I had to face the possibility that moment didn't necessarily come from me. That there was a possibility... that she took me along with her instead. And if she did, there was a lesson in there as well that I missed till just now as I write this down—the lesson you can take someone else with you. I should have seen that. And I shake my head in gentle wonder to the denseness that is me once again. And if this was hers and not mine, I want to in this moment say thanks to this extraordinary mare for letting me be there.
I guess at least this time, it only took me a week, when the time before it literally took me decades to realize there were two, not one there. This time there were three. Me, C and the coyote.
So many different lessons lay within that one meeting.
Some I missed to share with C in the moment, one she got right away on her own, and one I just figured out this morning a week later and who knows, there may be more that I am still missing. And that thought is amazing on its own, to know how many different lessons can be created in a single moment. That is what life did here, through this coyote who came to us, who laid down contentedly on the hill facing us, clearly wanting to be with us.
The lesson C caught right away was that in her wanting to protect, that in her reaction, she was turning away part of who she was trying to welcome. She wanted all safe who came to this space and at the same time wanted all life to feel welcome as well, even the coyote that she worried about. Fearing not necessarily for herself, but she had already experienced the loss of one cat and didn't want anyone else hurt.
I assume the coyote was real since we both saw him. And yet to the two dogs with us, it was as if he didn't exist, and somehow the coyote knew this as evidenced in his calm demeanour and his contentment as he chose to lay down and watch even as I took a few steps closer and started speaking to him.
But if he was real, why did the dogs not see him as they ran back and forth? Why was our attention on him never remarked upon by them? Why, when I stepped towards him and changed my path, why did my dog Jasper not catch up to me and race ahead as he always does and has done all his life?
Just a part of the magic that was there this day.
What I missed to share and say out loud - is see nature is always speaking. Always sending us portents and signs which the ancients got, but I wonder if they missed is that this is constantly happening. Yes, some seem more obvious, such as a coyote who comes to visit, but those moments exist all the time, and we keep missing them. In part, because they are usually far more subtle.
We miss so much unaware. In part, because our awareness is usually fragmented, somewhere else other than the moment that we are in, and we forget to keep our heart space open. And we keep missing the wonder, the possibilities that are here to experience.
The lesson I got a week later, that there were three of us involved in that sliver of time. And in my heart, for a time, I made this about me. Again. But as I said, at least it only took me a week to figure this out this time. We need to always remember that what happens, happens because of the energy of all that are there. Only possible because of the energy built one upon the other.
Energy shared that awakens something often unexpected.
A lesson of how we need to welcome not just those elementals that make us feel warm and fuzzy like flowers, bees and beavers. That just like stepping into a herd of horses that are strangers to you, strange things will happen when you fill your heart space, and your safe, because you are now a part of them, but you have to be able to accept ... shit.. the coyote lay down...
The dang thing lay down!! Why didn't I see that connection before? The horses, the coyote, the offer of laying down, to show they feel safe and accept you being there with them? Saying 'you' can feel safe. How did I miss that??? An entire book based upon those strange events with the horses, and I missed it yet again?!! And I shake my head once again at the denseness that is me.
But to go back to what I was saying a moment ago. That day that seemed to be the lesson.
I had learned to feel safe with horses, to walk amongst them as if I was part of their herd, to feel completely safe with them out in the fields where many were left free to roam. Once I would have felt fear to be among so many that I didn't know and who didn't know me. But now it is home to me, I feel welcome, and I know they will watch out for me.
But that sureness was not with me with the coyote, except maybe the first and this last time. Watching how calm he was, watching him content to just lay there, and I felt with him what I felt with the herds that, for the most part, live free from us.
When we feel fear, that is nothing more than a signal that we still have work to do. Work on what is in our heart space, work on ourselves, our transformation and our awareness. Trust is not something that you can give and take away on a whim, depending on the circumstances. It is there, or it isn't. That sense of peace comes because of who you have learned to be.
If that trust that confidence is not there always, that is just a sign that we still have work to do. All deserve to feel safe and welcome, just as true for them, as it is true for us. And this includes the horses. A herd that squabbles amongst themselves, especially when you are present, no matter the circumstances, is one where you are still in the process of learning more together.
The same lesson is true for all of us. We need to find a way clear to a pathway in our hearts for those that cause us even a moment of nervousness. Interestingly something that we had already started working on earlier in the day at the suggestion of the horses. Saying if I were you, I would start here with her. It turns out the same lesson applied to both of us. It seems that I wasn't done, and when it came to the wild, that is the coyote, or truthful to any that we perceive as wanting to hurt us, I still had work to do. The wolf, the coyote, the bear would all bring about the same reaction in me that most have to step into a herd of feral horses where they had no clue what to expect, but a space where the horses have shown me differently. Shown me that I was safe. Now it was time to take that next step, is what life seemed to be saying to me.
But maybe to give myself a break, I did take those few steps closer to that which I usually find threatening.. mind you, not hard to do when the coyote was laying down and obviously not threatening us in any manner. And with the dogs taken out of the picture, I wasn't worried about them either—a necessary ingredient for me to react the way I did. I stepped away from them, from her and stepped toward him and felt such joy in that moment. I felt drawn to him, and yet I stopped finally while I continued to talk and inviting him to come closer, saying how welcome he was. And C pointed out later insightfully, probably in part because her energy was holding me back. And there is a truth in that. I felt this chain connect us and felt her energy drawing me backwards as she worried about the safety of all of us.
But the truth is I could have released that energy, that draw backwards, if I had the confidence in me that clearly, I have yet to learn, that I need to do more work on. Life was challenging me here, not willing to say your welcome and safe here with the horses, so now these skills I have taught you are complete. Maybe it started with the horses, but now, more forms of life are drawn to be a part of your experience. As you move throughout the day, it won't be only the deer that wander past your living window. It won't be just the muskrat that swims by to only turn around and do it again, showing off.
And something else that I missed, just as much I felt her energy pulling me back, it was also in her presence that I felt this uplifting joy that said move forward. I think part of that was her energy as well. That somehow both existed in that moment from her to me. That somehow being here with her in this moment, I didn't feel fear. I felt wonderfully joyous, sure I was supposed to move forward. A sureness that was actually quite powerful.
There is always the next step for all of us. I now know I need to find inside of myself the same thing the horses had already suggested was the lesson of the day, but of course, I wasn't smart enough to hear and remember that every lesson is just as much for the guide as it was for the one that you are here for. Probably why the coyote came along just to remind me to say this lesson isn't just for her. It is for you as well. We join together with what should never have been split apart to start with.
It has taken me two weeks to come here, to land here finally. And still, I have yet to understand the other lesson in that day. Where did the joy of discovery come from to grab so firmly of my heart? An uplifting feeling that just rose higher and higher in me, filling me with energy that demanded, let's explore!
And why did I foolishly not share that with C as well?
I mean, yes, I have felt a gentle joy when feeling brave enough to go out alone, just me and the dog happy to slip into the trees and see where that takes us, but this was different. Exponentially.
Strong and sharp, delightfully so. So, where did that come from? The land, C, a gift from the coyote, or a combination of.. or something else. I felt it from the hollow peering at the shrouded darkness in the opening created by the trees. I felt it stronger where the gifts were tied to trees by those whose heritage once roamed this land before us. Why I am not sure, and I don't want to guess. Yet wondering why here? The joy I felt made me feel like I should raise my hands up high and twirl joyfully with my face raised to the sky. And I have to ask why I didn't think to share this in the moment and help another feel this as well. I need to do better—hopefully, next time.
But one caveat to be placed is keep everyone safe. This is not to be a Pollyanna, thinking all are safe always, and if we pretend/think it so and place ourselves in danger, we are wrong to do so. Instead, we need to find our way forward thoughtfully. Waiting till she lets us know we are safe and welcome. Yet the work starts as we welcome life into our hearts and say there is a space in here for you.