The spiritual path isn’t always the easiest path. Easy, however, is relative to one’s expectations. Of which, upon the road less travelled, we are constantly reminded, regardless of how far along the path we may be, that expectations, invariably, require adaptation.
Furthermore, to evolve, one must accept that lessons such as this, simple in nature, yet fundamental to all others, aren’t taught but once, more so, over and over, furthering both in depth and clarity, until the lesson itself, no longer necessary, becomes embodied.
It should, therefore, be of no surprise to me that this particular lesson, given the infinitesimal separation, a mere sliver of a divide, that exists between hope, and expectation, would befall me now, explicitly timed, for greater learning.
I never expected to realize my dream. The dream that one day, of which when or, how were of no importance, yet a day, none the less, when my husband and I, hand in hand, would reach down to touch the miraculous life force of birth, not of death. A soul, whom, simply put, would greet us at the entry side of life’s circle.
My dream was set alight amidst a time of grief, not unlike a firefly, if you will, bright against the dark of night. A time whereby, my husband and I, we made a choice, near unbearable, to honor a life, by ending a life.
We never expected to have a horse, let alone one such as Gracie. Unlike anything we’d ever encountered, Gracie, she was our north. In the mere time we shared, some 18 months, Gracie imprinted upon us, and she taught us, benevolently, what it means to love without conditions.
That day, that choice, it changed our lives, forever.
My husband and I, reached down, and we touched Gracie's miraculous life force, until, like that of whisper, it was gone.
As we sat, the two of us, inside her stall, Gracie, wrapped in a blanket, now at peace, both my husband and I, we knew not to say 'goodbye'. To the contrary, we knew our bond, and our love, it would not cease, not even in death. That beyond time, space, and everything in between, we would remain, divinely threaded, from one edge of the circle to the other, and one day, a day we knew not when, or how, none the less, a day would indeed come, whereby we, through love eternal, would meet, and, once again, say ‘hello’.
Some people say, there’s no room for dreaming when it comes to horses. That emotions, most especially the romantic naivety of hope, will get you in trouble, even grave danger. Conversely, some say that without emotion the bond between horse and man will never be fully actualized, more so limited to the arrangement struck, albeit silent, between that a means, and an end.
I say, without hope, without dreams, I would live but half a life.
On April 24th, 2020 at 12.15am, our beautiful maiden mare, Lucy, gave birth to a healthy, strong, spirited red roan filly named Koda. Some few hours later, Koda, true to her namesake, that of ‘friend’, stood in front of mamma, curious, courageous, stretching out her neck, ever so intently, just far enough to meet the gentle gesture of my husband’s hand, and there, in that moment, struck with awe, I witnessed my dream realized, as the two of them, eye to eye, soul to soul, shared their first ‘hello’.
I say, in all the moments that preceded that day, and every moment since, I get to live a full life.
Koda, almighty in presence, divine in beauty, she is more than I had dreamed. Her miraculous life force, instantly recognizable, is indeed a spirit, come from afar, to further our lessons, our teachings, and our greater expanse of love. For with her birth, the line, between hope and expectation, its teachings were, once again, delivered unto us.
We never expected the call, nor the result.
Thaya, the heart of my husband, our nine-year-old German Shepherd mix, rescued from Hurricane Sandy, has always, against all challenge, been our constant. Her loyalty, her protection, to a fault, on occasion, and her spirit, beautiful, both in aesthetics and will, shines its light, unprecedented, unscathed, upon our lives, dawn till dusk.
“The results are consistent with T-Cell Lymphoma with a median survival time of days to weeks, sometimes months, with aggressive chemotherapy”, of which I quote, most astonishingly, from the dictates of a voicemail.
Days prior, we had planned to take Thaya, bountiful in health, exuberant in energy, to meet Koda, as she had Gracie. We were excited. The two of them, matched in spirit, would surely recognize each other, playmates perhaps, even beloved friends, or so we hoped.
We did not expect, upon the arrival of a miraculous life force, we would be told, immediately, that another miraculous life force, of whom we treasure, was, indeed, on the other side of life’s circle.
We did not expect it, however, it happened regardless, and, therein lies the lesson. A lesson, most simple in nature, yet fundamental to all others, of which are taught not but once, more so, over and over, furthering both in depth and clarity, until the lesson itself, no longer necessary, becomes embodied.
The spiritual path isn’t always the easiest path. However, for me, there is no other path. The spiritual path orientates you, not around the material constructs of this world, but the natural order of all things. It’s teachings, and its wisdom gives rise to how we, as a human condition, can exist, harmoniously, in the dualistic nature of all creation.
To do so, one must be brave. Brave enough to FEEL all of life, each and every polarity, holy balanced, in matrimony. The beginnings, the endings, and every season in between. The joy, the pain, the love, the loss, the courage, the fear, the HOPE, and the despair.
To live a full life is to be rich beyond measure, as to love, garners treasures, of which, nothing, not even death can take from you.
Never have I lived but half a life. Nor shall I do so now.
Koda, the realization of a dream, one I rejoice daily, for it was hope that brought her to life.
Thaya, the epitome of strength, one I choose, without expectation, to continue to hope for, until, the circle of life, it calls her to death.
The bond that’s shared between the true heart of man, and the ineffable spirit of our beloved four legged, it too comes full circle, defying the limits of this physical world, such that ‘goodbye’, it is not necessary, for in time, and hope, ‘hello’ shall indeed, be shared again.
This treasure, across every lesson upon the path, has never be taken from me, for with every hope, and all I love, I garner it, through living it.
Today, tomorrow, always, live not but half a life, live all of life.