By Diana Wanamaker
That’s a lot of work they say. But they do not understand what joy and purpose it brings to my world. They shake their heads at how I choose to feed horses day and night, no matter the day, no matter how late or how early, I am there 365 days/year (2x/day). But they do not understand that they are my family. It is not work, it is a steadfast commitment to beings that bring to me what no others do.
Over and over again I hear, that’s a lot of work taking care of horses. I weigh heavy in my heart how they do not understand that they are the air I breathe, they are a connection that words barely touch on. They are my heart, my soul, my life! I would have it no other way.
That’s a lot of money they say. They are expensive, they say. Get rid of the horses they say and you can pay more bills and have more money for this and that. But they do not understand that these sentinent beings that have graced my life are dependent upon me to be there for them. They are not just material things you place on a shelf and watch the dust collect. They are not just a few moments of euphoria at a store as you buy the newest and latest things. There life sings in my heart day and night, throughout the year. They feel, they love, they hurt, they have needs and wants and joys as do I. We travel together in this journey of life and without them along my side, would be a world without much left to even behoove existence to my world.
Do they not know what passion and dedication that is driven purely by unselfish means looks like? Do they not know that in my world there is no other deeper connection then the connection with my horses (and mule). They are not just work, they are not just more bills being paid, they are my family. And my devoted commitment to them is till death do us part. It is not a light hearted decision, it is one that reigns without much thought. It just is.
So, the next time you shake your head at how I have horses to feed, or all you can think about is how much work they are (as if they somehow had to do this work?), or how much money they cost, or how I have to haul manure out across a 5 acre pasture each day, know that this narrow minded vision of what is viewed of my life with horses is not understood by even the slightest perception. If you can not take off your colored glasses and see beyond what is there in this love I have for my horses, then you have little to no understanding of me or who I am, at the slightest.
I think we all can view another’s life, at times, and say, “I don’t know how you do that?” “It is so much work!”. I see people with kids and families of their own, and I am exhausted just looking at how much they have to do within a 2 hour time frame, let alone a lifetime. The expense’s of having a family is beyond anything I can fathom. The long hours of full-time work, taking care of a home, kids, husband (or wife), etc. I am exhausted just thinking of it.
But so many of you choose this with glee all around, proudly displaying your family and the voyage of a lifetime creating memories and impacting another’s life forever in your world. I look time and time again at all the families that people have. It is a joy that you share it and I can see how your world sings with elation. How much pride and recognition there is to have a family, home and husband/wife/children! It is what so many have and so many delightfully embrace each day. There is nothing like it. No questions as to your choice’s. No question as to the work involved. The dedication. The heartaches and the disappointments, and the devotion of time, energy and money it takes to have a family of your own. I look at it and the pictures speak all the words. I look at it and I too wonder how so many of you raise families in such a world of being overly busy. But the joy and delight that is shown proudly displaying your pictures of your families needs no explanation. There is nothing like family. How precious they all are.
But they say to me, “It’s just a horse!”. But what I see is that there are many similarities between our worlds and there is probably few experience’s with your family, that I cannot relate to with my horses. There is no dividing of differences for me. It is not only a choice, but a lifetime dedication to them, as you have to your family’s.
See…my life is not graced with children, a husband, or even a significant other. I have few friends, nor a large immediate family that I can embrace. Life did not defer me with such a life. I do not have extended family to share the joy of having so much family around as I raise children. I do not have a large network of friends that comes from being connected to so much family.
My family is my horses, my animals. They are my children. They are what brings that much desired connection to have a family of my own.
So, the next time you shake your head at how I have this duty to my horses, know that what you envision about me with my horses is what you have chosen. Know that the fondness and love that graces your hearts from your families, also does for me with my horses. Understand that the devotion, the patience, the love, time, energy and money that is fully dedicated to the love of my animal family, divides out no differently than it does for you and your families.
Understand that it is the similarities in life is what bring unity and peace and togetherness. It is the recognition of
differences and the argument of those differences is what brings segregation, detachment and parting of worlds.
Understand that what lies in my heart with my horses is not a just a choice but it is the very life of my being.
It is the knowing of those similarities that bring unity in our choices.
May those similarities bring more understanding that my horses are as much a part of me, as your families are a part of you.
Copyright Dec. 2015. All Rights Reserved