On Being Cold and Alone and Happy

(It’s good for the soul).

It’s still winter.  Winter is a hard time for living things that require warmth to survive.  The horses need extra hay to fuel their metabolic furnaces.  Some horses aren’t so lucky and don’t get enough to eat and suffer more from winter’s effects.  I see lots of cows on farms here that look hungry and I feel sad for them in their mud and snow covered pastures.  Then I drive by a few fields where farmers have put out round bales, enough for the herds for days and days and I feel reassured that the human race does remain a compassionate one.

The man that I love, the one I share my life with, lost his father yesterday and although I did not  know his father other than meeting him a few times, I still feel saddened at the loss of a life, even though it brings relief from suffering.  I’ve often heard the saying, we come into this world alone, and we leave alone.  It’s who and what we love in the interim that really matters.

About eight years ago I had a life-altering event that changed my outlook on life greatly.  It was an ego-shattering event that made me a more compassionate less self-absorbed person.  I was humbled enough to be able to view my own mortality and examine the impact, good or bad, I had on other people. God has a way of bringing us down, one way or another, of shaking us up, to make us see what he wants us to see and to start living the way he wants us to.

That time in my life is what brought me back to the horses and farm life of my childhood.  I have met so many wonderful people since I’ve been on this path, that are now dear friends to me.  I can’t imagine waking up and not hearing a rooster crow, or a horse whinny, or not having to go out and milk goats in the freezing cold.  (Our milking area is warm though).

The aloneness that plagued me in my  20’s and early 30’s disappeared when I bought my first horse as an adult six years ago.  I guess they say it takes that long, and maybe some people never find that spot, but I’m glad I did.  I went through 2 marriages and an endless stream of relationships, looking for happiness,  until my life was turned upside down by a  man God sent into my life about eight years ago.

I knew this man (CG) was my gift from God and I needed to get it right, but I was too stubborn, too proud, always had to be right, to have the last word, I was not above lying, etc. etc.  Slowly, this man that I adored, who I KNEW God had sent into my life, slipped through my fingers and then  was gone.

I couldn’t breath.

I joined several churches, got baptized and confirmed and people spoke in tongues over me and prayed for me and tried to help me.  I discovered that you really do have to get out there and do whatever it takes to help yourself.  There is no line where free help is handed out.  Sometimes a meal maybe, but never the kind of help you need to pull yourself up and get yourself together.  You have to want that.  Sometimes you might  have help along the way…and if you’re really trying, help will spring up all over the place, but basically, you do it alone.

Dreams need to be followed, not ignored or suppressed.  Compassion needs to be the word of the day, everyday.  And understanding should follow close behind.

Last July I lost my job of almost 12 years.  I was devastated, but God knows what he is doing.  I was able to follow my dream of doing natural hoof care.  I LOVE working with horses.  I understand them and adore them.  While following this dream, finally, I got a call one day from CG, asking me if I needed any help with anything.

Well, I was able to talk him into coming out and helping me with yard work.  My yard is HUGE and it had gotten terribly out of control.  The weeds in the garden were taller than either of us.  I knew he wouldn’t judge me by my messy yard.   And he didn’t.  But once he was here,  I knew I loved him as much as I ever had years ago.  Nothing had changed about that.

My son had just moved out of the house and I was feeling very alone….miles from any town.  But God knew what I needed and sent CG at just the right moment.  Enough years had passed that I could forgive and I’d grown up enough that I had some sense.  (Now, I won’t say that I’m perfectly mature and forgiving and sensible every day…but I’m certainly working on it.)

I always wanted to be one of those people that could get up and tell their story in church or at an event about how they’d been dragged through the mud and came out on the other side all sunshine and roses.  I used to write down a lot of my prayers in journals, and the common theme was praying for changes in myself and a way for things to work out between CG and me.  Everything in life is just so much better with him.  He helps me figures things out when I’m confused (which is alot), he helps me see things from other points of view, and we have a lot of fun together just doing simple things.  Just living.  I thank God for bringing me to this place in my life, for all the trials and pain and tears…it was all worth it for what I have now.  Even though it’s cold outside, I’m feeling very blessed.

In the winter it’s easy to feel isolated, cold and lonely, and when people we love pass away, the sadness is made even heavier by the relentless cold we feel inside and out.

Maybe God feels we’ve all had it a little too easy these last few years and decided to make us more appreciative of good friends, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, animals,  the earth, and life, by giving us a winter we will not soon forget.  One that will help us cherish what we have and rejoice in the sun when it finally decides to warm our faces.

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