Saturday, August 11, 2012

Turning 40 chapter 6

The weather had become blustery and it was beginning to rain. How I wished I had brought my rain gear! My light poncho was no match for what was coming and cute shoes would do me no good at that point. My horse spooked with each new gust of wind, my tailbone ached from the fall, I had twisted an ankle and my knee felt out of joint. I was a little dreamy, having taken plenty of Ibuprofen to keep going. And there we were, in remote mountains, following barely marked trails, no towns or people, the ruins we passed long abandoned. I felt like a time traveler, out of place, out of century. Either we were riding more slowly than our narrative suggested, or we were lost again. I was cold, wet and exhausted.
We reached our lunch destination, ruins of a village where several roads converged, nothing left but old stone walls and fallen roofs. I took some pictures, too dangerous to go inside. We knew the stop would have to be brief, and we had hours to go.  
We had been told of a group who, at that place, had turned onto the wrong track. When they ended up, evening falling, far from where they were supposed to be, they decided to quit, and give up the trek. They had called the farm owner and asked her to come pick them up. "Are my horses hurt?” She asked. No. "Are you hurt?"  No.  Then she arranged a truck and trailer to take them to that evening’s intended destination, and they continued as planned.
We found the right track, and finally made it to the final night’s destination, a remote resort with great hot showers and fabulous food. Our young hostess was taking over her father’s business, and she spoke about her hopes and fears and dreams for her future. Her fiancée lived far away, and they were struggling to find their way to make a life together, each feeling committed to their homes and families. It reminded me of challenges Jim and I had faced when we decided to move to the country and buy our little farm.

The weather was beautiful on the last day of riding, and as we rode we talked about the various intense and satisfying moments we had experienced on the trip, and we laughed about our original naïve expectations. It became clear to me that my mom, by example, had given me the answer to one of my questions: the way to go forward as a mother is to embrace every opportunity with my children; of course they would still need me. The answer to my other question: time to get busy living my life with a greater appreciation for everything good my husband and I had created, including the place I love most.
I had gone in search of myself, for meaning and inspiration, only to realize that the Center of my Celestial Universe would be found right back at home.

No comments:

Post a Comment