"...keep knocking, and the Joy inside will eventually open a window and look out to see who's there."Rumi
In the past the barn has been my refuge. It was the place I went to when I needed to restore my soul. It was a place that I could find comfort in simple tasks- sweeping a floor, cleaning a water bucket, organizing tack. I loved the smells of the hay, shavings and horses. The sounds of horses eating always brought a smile to my face and a feeling of peace in my heart.
When Steele died the barn became a place of pain, not of solace. I felt like I was spinning- the first place I would normally head to feel better was taken away. I would go to the barn and do what needed to be done and then head back to the house. It was very draining.
Last week I had a very bad day. I spent most of the day flooded with tears. Fortunately it was a day that I could close the door to my office and hide. Ed phoned me to talk about something and he could tell right away that something was wrong. "Come home" he told me. I didn't go home but I decided that I needed to try to take back my joy. So that night I made myself go out to the barn and spend some time. I puttered. I took Irish out and gave him a good grooming. Lexie watched over her door. She has the most steady gaze, it's amazing. After I finished Irish I brought out Lexie and gave her a good going over. She lapped it up. When I put her in her stall I headed back to the house. I won't say that I felt restored but I felt a bit better. Or at least not worse than when I went out.
Ed commented about my time in the barn. I told him that I was trying to see if I could find the peace I used to find when I was out there. That I decided that joy wasn't going to seek me out but I had to see if I could find it. He listened carefully and said "you know if you can't find it here any more and want to sell and move, I'm okay with that". I was stunned by his offer. It made me stop and think. This place was my dream but became his as well. I'm not ready to run away yet.
So I've started running again. I go to my Zumba class and curling.
Yesterday I picked up the framed painting of Steele. I know that I'm biased but it is stunning:
It was a gift to me from a person I have never met in person. Years ago I sold a saddle to a woman in the next province. We 'knew' each other from a dressage bulletin board we both belonged to. She also had a young gelding she was bringing alone and we shared our hopes, triumph and progress over the past year. When she heard about Steele, she sent me a message asking for my home address. I gave it to her expecting a card in the mail. Instead I opened a package to find this incredible painting of my boy. She has captured his beauty and spirit perfectly.
It is hanging in my dining room and I see it multiple times a day. And every time I see it I feel not just the grief of his passing but the joy that he existed. It makes me smile through tears.
I need to keep knocking.