Tal wasn’t doing well again. The whole story is for another time. His feet were uncomfortable and just as happened last year, I had come to a dead end not knowing what to do because both conventional and non-conventional efforts weren’t working once again. I checked in on him and reassured him, letting him know I was going for a walk which is the best time for me to hear what guidance is being offered. Gently stroking his face, I whispered that I would come back soon to be with him.
I spent time taking in the beauty of the redwoods and the waving grasses, breathing the spring air, and feeling… well, not joy exactly, but feeling a sense that I was on track no matter how uncomfortable. I pondered my life, the difficult but solid decisions I’d been making recently, and the new changes taking place. I thought about my journey with Tal a year ago when my changes brought improvement in his condition.[Journey Into Surrender, Parts 1-7] I observed how in some ways the situation seemed the same again this year. However, in truth it was completely different because of what I now understood, and because of a growing inner confidence in my spiritual path.
When I finally headed back to the barn still not knowing what to do for Tal, I felt a heaviness encroaching and pushing away the quiet I had been feeling on my meditative walk. He seemed to be getting worse. I was losing the deep connection with him in the past couple of days. He had withdrawn into a cavern after some very joyful times in the last few weeks as we’ve traversed these new paths together through the laminitis dilemma. [Goofy Mariah: Divine Comedienne]
I embraced my “not knowing” rather than fighting it. The feeling was relief. The new ways of responding to physical problems were surfacing in strength in me as traditional and alternative approaches were losing their foothold. For strange yet ultimately wonderful reasons they had become ineffective unless I was given specific guidance. These are the kinds of circumstances when many animals are put down, and in my fearful times I’d wondered about Tal. But he pressed on with me. He was my shaman teacher uncovering and honing gifts I didn’t know I had. Lessons over the years were beginning to merge with the ones I was learning of late.
I continued to walk to the barn in silence. Then the words came, “Do your art. Sit with Tal and draw him.” Friends of mine and those of you who have followed my blog know this mantra. This was not a new concept for me, just repetitive because I keep forgetting.
Lessons From the Past
Years ago I was being prepared for this time in my life. I rescued a sick horse, Mano, who was never able to recover but the lessons I learned during that time keep coming like the waving grasses during this time when I’m finally ready to trust them. They are collected in my inner sacred place, recorded in an ancient book of wisdom with crinkled parchment curled on the edges and stained with age. The imprinted lessons glow in the warmth of heavenly candlelight inviting me to remember once again. This time it is with well-seasoned understandings.
When I was caring for Mano in those years gone by, I was getting a deep inkling that drawing him would somehow help his healing, I tried but the results weren’t instant enough for an immature self, nor was I as comfortable with drawing at that time, and it went by the wayside, filed somewhere in back chapters of that divine book of lessons.
Arriving at the barn, I had my clear instructions. Grabbing my well worn barn stool, and my art tools, I sat down to draw Tal. He was very restless, moving his weight from one hoof to the next and kept turning to look at me. As I was sketching him, I was surprised by his next movement. He awkwardly maneuvered his body around and shuffled his way to be near me where his head could touch my shoulder. Such affection touched my spirit.
After doing a quick composite of him, I felt he wanted more contact from me so I laid aside my drawing, and spent time brushing him, cleaning his feet, and a lot of time combing his thick white tail. He grew quiet. Very quiet. I knew this was working.
During this interaction I had offered him a couple of homeopathic remedies which he usually takes, but today he told me that he didn’t want them because “you are my remedy” he had said.
So, quiet he became, and more relaxed. After a time of peaceful rest he decided to move out of the stall and eat some grass hay. Hope quickened within me. While slow at first, he began walking more effortlessly.
Throughout the day he continued to improve and when I returned to the barn in the early evening, he and Dollar were diligently massaging each other’s withers as they stood with the fence between them. I stopped in a hush, smiling all the way to my toes, not wanting to disturb this beautiful and long awaited interaction between Tal and his sometimes buddy, and sometimes rival. A significant indicator of Tal’s dramatic improvement.
What made the difference in his dramatic improvement in one day? I’m not sure, I’m still learning. Perhaps it was all of it, going with the divine flow, and starting with the drawing for sure was important as per instructions, and certainly the mutual activation of love between us, and not to overlook the magic of touch in the grooming, and the tail combing.
Tal was right he didn’t need his homeopathic remedies that day. His remedy came in the new way that is unfolding with us here at the ranch as he teaches me and prods me to step out of the shadows of my self limitations and fears into the joy of life as it was meant to be lived.