Some of you know that I recently went on a solitude retreat; five days by myself to read, ride and write. I have been encouraged to do so for years, not because anything is wrong, but simply to allow time to find the essence of the soul and develop clarity of purpose. While there in the hills and meadows of the Meramec River, I came away with some important insights about what it takes to live a meaningful life. For the next five blogs I will share excerpts from my journal. What follows is what I discovered, and I urge you to take a similar journey. Until you do, maybe some of my learning will help. Happy Trails!
I am driving across the state of Missouri, pulling a horse trailer for the first time in over 30 years. In the trailer is a stubborn half ton horse that fought loading for over two hours. Tired and weary, I ask myself was it really so important to bring Sanka along. It would have been so easy just to jump in the car, drive a few hours to a comfy retreat in a resort area. What was I thinking?
As I listened to my book on tape, it suddenly became clear. They were talking about how a famous band was named—they put two words together to form the name, words that had meaning independently but also went well together. The called the band Horsepower. I sat up straight realizing that the only reason I was on this trip right now, today, was because of horse power. Two words—each important but together, for me, transformative. Let me explain.
As a child, I lived my life on horseback. Riding, showing, or just hanging out. Jerry, my pony, was my first best friend. We shared a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches after school. Fast forward thirty years later, as an almost empty nester; I had to challenge myself to find a new focus for my time other than following my athletic sons around to their many competitions. Get a horse! Rekindle my youth! Reignite my passion! So I did!
What I have discovered in these last few months since I brought Sanka home, is that all the passion is still there and then some. I find the time to ride almost daily. I love it. It is almost spiritual in that I feel a connectedness to nature; I am no longer just observing it—I am one with it. I am obsessed with it and feel so blessed.
This liberating feeling, this power that courses through me, comes from my reunion with horses. In fact, I doubt very much I would be on this trip if I hadn’t rediscovered that alignment with nature and my soul and the desire to dig deeper. This retreat is driven by horse power!
But that is not all. I also feel like I have more horsepower. I feel very alive; not just going through the motions. I am living!! I have more bumps and bruises—and I feel the minor aches and pains– which only make me smile and remind me that I am indeed doing more, and challenging myself. In our youth, our horsepower came from our boundless energy. Pedal to the metal, baby! As we reach midlife, we don’t feel any older but we realize we have a few physical limitations we didn’t use to have! Now, my amped up horsepower comes from the holistic application of all I have gained through living—wisdom, fortitude, passion, and enriched relationships, with new found physical energy. I am not as fast as I once was, but I am better than I ever was! (sounds like a good line for a country music song!!)
So today, I celebrate horse power and horsepower—my motivation and my renewed energy. Let ‘er buck! What is your version of “horse power”?