I’m tired of the cold nights. Or is it the chill inside of me that has become the burden, a body frozen in a straight jacket made of ice. Is it awakening in the morning rigid and stiff? Fear, I call it. I can’t seem to will it away. It looms big as a permanent resident.
Sometimes the fear feels like two bocci balls wedged in tightly under my shoulder bones crowding in on my heart. At other times, there are surreal moments when I watch myself in a moon-like atmosphere, retching in slow motion as I rid myself of that something in my gut. Or the days my body quivers and shakes like the continuous vibration of a machine. I go about my daily routines trying to be normal, but look out at the world through eyes that are forced into tight sockets and ringed with cold sweat.
What if the bocci balls found their way back to the playing field of the soul releasing the old rules of life in trade for a new and spontaneous game. And what if the quivering became instead a flurry of creative thought and ideas. Or the vomiting became a new voice emerging from somewhere deep inside, riding the wind across the plains with wild mustangs in thunderous and eternal power.
What would life be like if the icy fear were to melt away into clear mountainous streams of inner flow, and the warmth of love could snuggle with the heart. What new friends and relationships would sit with me and dangle their feet in restorative waters.
As I trail blaze alone, yet together with other lone travelers in the land of the unfamiliar, through jungles without paths, the fear behaves like gnarly gremlins, clawing with long curled nails, and snarling in an undertone of ugly, guttural voices. I can smell the rotten breath, and feel the tear-inducing sting of each new scratch. It attempts to threaten and to thwart but this time it goes too far. Instead it emboldens my courage. It can’t take hold as I press onward, stepping out of the box of the familiar, leaving it far behind.
Mentors and mystical guides appear along the way. My horses lead with my canine companion and hard-to-find friends who know how to move beyond the rules and limitations of convention. Other travelers come and go as welcomed surprises around the next corner.
I’ve found my own divine portals…the pounding of the keyboard with new thoughts taking shape on the computer screen in front of me or scrawled with pen on notepads handily scattered within easy reach; the swirling movement and smudges of charcoal on blank pages as new whimsical equine forms are born; or the setting of the food table in the glow of soft light for a friend new or old. Each divinely inspired path that brings peace, joy, and love to the heart are antidotes to the fear, reshaping it and rendering it powerless, setting the spirit free to soar to new unimaginable destinies.
Beverly Smith is a writer and an artist residing in Mendocino County, California. She is a horse “listener” who works with horses in non-traditional ways.