She was 21 when I adopted her from the rescue. I found her online, a Google search. I typed in white Arabian mare and she was the first to appear. I knew immediately she was the one.
She was angry when she arrived to her new home. And wary and untrusting….locked in a world of grief and fear. We gave her space and consistency and most of all love.
We spent our evenings sitting in the barn with her. Sipping tea. Just being together. Slowly, she started to warm up to us. Ever so slowly.
Over the next six years, we grew very close. I could see the barn from my kitchen window and it seemed that we were always together. Always chatting.
Then, one day, from the kitchen window, I saw her eating dirt. Mouthfuls. I went out to distract her and she started to graze. But over the coming months, her dirt eating progressed to the point that we could only hand graze her. The vets scratched their heads. They could find no cause and no solution.
In the late fall, her appetite began to wane and then one morning I noticed a small swelling on her underside. Things changed slowly but steadily from there. Her appetite continued to diminish and she grew weaker. But her will to live and her desire to get better remained strong. Her world was small but she loved it.
We fed her mashes every hour. As the winter progressed, we kept her in blankets with a small space heater near her.
I spent long hours standing with her, both of us in the silence of Reiki. Once again, I was the young girl, standing with my magical, mythical white mare of my dreams, gazing at the Sun, and Moon and the Stars. Reading the Wind. The little goats would join us. Often, when I entered the barn, I would find one of the goats standing near her, the two breathing as one.
She taught me how to find the space of Oneness, love and compassion instantly…..without symbols or mantras. ….to just be, to just go there. Sometimes, as I stood next to her, she would touch my arm with her muzzle as if to say, “no, just do it like this” and we would go deeper into our meditation than I could ever have imagined.
Often, when I meditated in bed, she would “appear” and the meditation quickly entered a dimension I could not find on my own.
As the winter wore on, she started having spells of abdominal pain. I found that if I stood with her, she would guide me where to place my hands and the spells would pass.
My husband began to sleep in the little room next to her stall so he could watch and go to her if she was uncomfortable. We took turns getting up to check on her and to offer her food. She continued to love her life and we returned that love.
As she grew more feeble, my husband placed a cot in her stall. She slept standing over him, her muzzle resting on his chest. When he went out to the barn in the evening, she would be standing by his cot waiting for him.
The winter passed and as the grass began to show, I would pick it for her and bring it to her. She nickered loudly with joy as I approached. The times we spent in meditation together increased and she continued to teach me. Truly, her heart was as vast as the Universe and as clear as the Sky.
She continued to sleep with her muzzle resting on my husband’s chest as he slept on the cot in her stall. One morning he came in to tell me she had not left his side all night. He glowed that morning and I thought to myself that she had suffused her spirit into him. When I went through the barn with my dog later that morning, they touched noses and I thought how well she looked. My husband left for work and I went out, as usual, with her mash. She was standing with her head over his cot. I spoke to her, showing her the bowl and she turned eagerly, but paused.
Angels gently lowered her to the ground. It was a miracle she did not fall on me. I knelt down, she was gone.
Her two younger half sisters are with us now, adopted from the same rescue. When I sit with them in meditation, she is right with us. And when I have trouble letting go of my thoughts and emotions, I feel her muzzle on my arm and hear her saying, “no….just do it like this….”
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.
-mevlana jelaluddin rumi – 13th century