A Time Like This

Here we are in the middle of our grandchildren’s history books. Many people say they can’t believe these crazy times. I can though. History has never plodded along without memorable happenings on the regular. We’ve lived in an age of relative ease and comfort, lost sight of the big picture, had some extremely #firstworldproblem priorities. Things have simmered for years now and like salt added to water about to boil, covid-19 and its associated complications has brought many other issues to their boiling point. There is hot water all over the stove top, running down the wooden cabinets and onto the floor. The first step to cleaning up the mess is turning off the heat. The heat of polarized media, the heat of tempers that only know how to flare instead of seeking understanding. 

Creating my own peace. Photo by Jessica Ramirez.

In the midst of the #2020dumpterfire I’ve been lucky enough to live and work at a farm. My day to day activities really didn’t change much. Sure I sprayed a lot more bleach and lysol in the barn than I ever thought possible, but those stalls still needed cleaned, horses groomed, grass mowed, etc. The barn created a schedule so that boarders could sign up for a time and we could keep the number of people here limited. People were annoyed and tears flowed, but eventually everyone got used to the new normal.

I work hard to bring positivity to those around me, I can always look at situations from a new angle that can bring understanding and peace to those that were struggling. I wax on about opportunities for growth, and reasons to be thankful, and that you can always choose how you react to a situation. I thrive on creating peace. Maybe that is why I feel adrift now. In this world currently there is no peace, not even in our little corner of earth filled with horses. There is no way to keep everyone happy. There never was I suppose, but we pretended. It’s time for big changes and big changes are scary and difficult and overwhelming. 

Social distancing achievement. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Burns.

I’ve struggled with the concept of purpose from the time I was a child. As one person on this teeming earth, what could I possibly do that matters. I was always overwhelmed with the unending scope of the sky, its big blue presence crushing down on me. Thankfully I was distracted from these rather weighty ideas by chasing tadpoles in creeks, by transporting bugs from lawn to garden eliminating their perilous trek across sidewalks, and finally by horses and their velvety snuffling noses.

Wrestling with weighty ideas and moral dilemmas is an important part of being human, and should not be avoided. Discussions, education, expanding your viewpoint, these should all be pursued, but in a time where we feel not only isolated because of disease but also politics and morals we desperately need a chance to feel centered and grounded. As a horse person I have that chance everyday. In the midst of the confusion and uncertainty I know that these four legged creatures I have built my life around will be thankful for a simple peppermint and unconditionally share their love with me. 

All smiles while chasing some dressage dreams. Photo by Jessica Ramirez.

I want to wade into this maelstrom, but my peace loving self constantly worries about saying the wrong thing, or being misled by twisted and confusing media. I shudder at the thought that my good intentions could unwittingly bring pain to the very people I want to spread love over. So I ride my horses. I video their ears and we navigate the green and glowing trails, I document our training triumphs and woes. I chase down sunrise and sunset. I share my peace so that hopefully even one person can be encouraged to keep up the good fight. So that even one person can take that deep shuddering breath and feel their shoulders relax for a moment. I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that this is a season of desperately needed change. Even in the midst of change we humans need some form of stability, some joy to chase, some dream to cling to, how thankful I am to have horses to provide all of that.

So while you are out there sifting through moral, social, and life/death dilemmas, remember two things: 1. Everybody love everybody. 2. Always add more leg.