On our trail walk yesterday, almost hidden under a canopy of trees on the side of the path:
These beautiful creatures.
The iPhone didn’t particularly like me shooting into a darkish area, so this is the best I could do. There was the smell of horses and hay and manure, instantly taking me back to my childhood – to the days when my grandparents lived on four acres and had horses. Pa (with a short a, as in pat – that’s what we called my grandfather) usually had two horses living in the barn and occasionally boarded other horses. I was pretty young in those days. I rode the horses, but always with an adult at my side.
My sisters never knew that property, for by the time they came along, my grandparents had moved to a more populated town. The upkeep of the property in the country had become too much for Pa. He sold the property and the horses.
Now that I write about it, I realize how hard that must have been for Pa, a Canadian guy with the nickname ‘Slim’ who drove racing sulkies when he was a young man, and was truly a cowboy at heart. He wore Stetsons. He loved bolo ties. He subscribed to American Horseman magazine. He loved everything about his horses and all horses. He went to horse sales every Friday night. He had a collection of horse bits from all over the world.
How heartbreaking it must have been to reach an age where his leg was acting up, emphysema was starting to take its toll, where the upkeep of four acres was too much, where he had to sell the property and the horses.
What was there for a guy like that to do, after all those chores were no longer necessary?
Life can be very tough, especially when getting older means having to leave behind a long-held passion. Or, in my parents’ case, leaving their beloved northern Michigan behind to move to Florida in order to have one of the children nearby. Or facing the reality that you can no longer handle driving a car with any degree of confidence anymore.
As we are in our early sixties now, I feel more and more compassion and empathy for those decisions that had to be made in the face of a shifting reality. We are feeling the stress of the shifting financial realities that seem to be a constant in the life of two freelancers. Unless I win the lottery, or some stranger leaves me a large sum of money, we’ll eventually have to sell our beloved Mockingbird Hill Cottage. The mortgage is too high, the upkeep will get increasingly tougher for us to handle, we’ll never have any cushion if we’re forced to keep up those mortgage payments – and what way is that to live as we get older?
I’ve been thinking about that a lot for the past few days.
Then I turn it over to God/a Higher Being/Divine Intelligence, because I have no idea at times how we’ll get through any given month, but somehow we do. And I have to trust that the answers will be provided; a gentle nudge here, an opportunity there, a door opening (hopefully) that was previously closed.
But, boy oh boy, can I be swallowed up in fear just like that. In a flash. In a millisecond.
Deep breath. Affirm truth. Trust. Move forward.
My watchwords for the day.
I hope your day is peaceful and happy. That’s what I’m aiming for.
New post up on Just Let Me Finish This Page.