A lot of what we have done over the past 3.5 years has felt a bit surreal, here on the farm. I remember the day that Ruby pulled up into the yard and got off of the trailer. The fence wasn’t even up yet. This dream that I had for the longest time, just slowly stepped off of the trailer and she was here, standing in my backyard. It was kind of like that moment again when I was sitting at the kitchen table the other day looking out of the window in the morning, drinking my coffee while Ellie still slept.
Our kitchen table is small, it only has room for two chairs and barely room for 2 plates. Long ago I had claimed the seat that ended up facing the chicken pen once that was built, but this morning, I realized that the best view from the table was the seat that James had claimed and I slowly moved my sleepy body over to the other side of the table into his chair. I looked out and there she was. A bit off into the distance, my skinny little rescue stood, eating up all the grass as the morning sun reflected off of the pond. I had just finished putting fencing up for her the night before and this was the first time I got to see her in action, really enjoying her space. She looked so beautiful in the orange morning glow. Bony and frail still, she chomped at the grass with such tenacity. That morning is one that I will never forget because it’s one of those times in my life where I felt like I was exactly where I needed to be.
It took me a long time to feel that way about anything. To feel like something was exactly as it should be. I felt lost for the longest time and it wasn’t really all that long ago that I found my way. I still feel lost at times but there are many more fleeting moments where I will stop what I am doing, look up and realize that for that one moment everything is in place. There were times prior to James that I would have those moments. I remember sitting at a restaurant in Sorrento, Italy and feeling that sense of calm. There were times when I’d go for a run before having a family or a husband or any kind of responsibility really and just be out for hours on my feet in the sunshine and feel that I was in the right place. But something would always jerk me back to feeling like I wasn’t where I needed to be. Something would pull me in another direction and I’d feel lost again. I certainly am not saying that James is the reason for the calm, but he never shoots my dreams down or pulls me back to reality when things feel right or when they feel too difficult to ever be right. My spirit will forever be in need of a person who isn’t frightened by my dreams and ambitions. For that I’m grateful and can credit those feelings of calm to his support.
The experience with Diamond has been no different. The anxiety that I faced after bringing her home was overwhelming. Just thinking about the added cost of feeding a malnourished horse was at times debilitating. But more than the worry of money, was the worry of what if I can’t do it as a whole. Provide for her, fix her, make something beautiful out of something else that someone considered trash. But I had this dream of having two horses, one for Ellie and one for myself and being able to trail ride together. If I could nurse Diamond back to health, I’d achieve that goal. Maybe in the past, the doubt would have overwhelmed me to the point of backtracking and regret, someone would’ve pushed me into thinking what I decided to do was stupid. But on this morning, I looked out and I realized that I was doing it. She was gaining weight and above all she was happy. My decision that I continued to question myself about over and over and over again finally started to feel right.
Every day, 3 times per day, I prepare Diamond 2, 5 gallon buckets of food, her geriatric cocktail if you will. 1 scoop of triple crown senior feed, 1 scoop of beet pulp, 1 scoop of alfalfa cubes and then I soak it all down in warm water. I put her buckets on wagon and pull the wagon down the driveway with the lawnmower. The minute she sees me she starts nickering and whinnying. Her eyes are so bright these days. She’ll trot along the fence line to where I pour her food. Impressively, she downs it all. She is continuing to thrive and seeing this is helping build my confidence in knowing that truly, if you just try, you can do it all, even when the greatest amount of doubt is looking you in the face. And I know Diamond feels like she is exactly where she should be too, now.