Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Journey - Mary Oliver Modified

The Journey

One day you finally knew what you had to do

 and began,

though the voices around you
kept shouting
their  advice - - -
the whole  lot of them
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
'Mend my life for me for you cannot leave us now!'
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations - - -
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice,
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you rode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
 the only thing you knew how to do
and save the only life you knew as your own

Each turn as the sky burned off the fog
Each beat on the pavement
The Stars shone through blazing hot
in the night sky
Coffee, Rice, Saddle, Bridle
I wanted the past to go away,
I wanted to leave it, like another country;
I wanted my life to close, and open
like a hinge, like a wing, like the part of the song
where it falls
down over the rocks: an explosion, a discovery;

I wanted to hurry into the work of my life;
I wanted to know,whoever I was,
I was alive for a little while
and I know now that out here, I truly am...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Over and Out

It's taken a few weeks to figure out what's next on this great adventure and long ride.  Always stepping away for a few weeks and returning to it has been a good thing.  As the last few weeks have worn on, my allergy to a horrendous fire ant subsiding and Sophie still not wanting to go out and do this ride anymore, all I can say that is that I am getting past the feelings of embarrassment.

It was the shortest attempt to date that I have ever made. And the miles attempted will only be known to those who are local who helped me get back home safely.

There are long riders all over the world who have made several attempts before reaching that illusive 1000 mile marker by horse.  Eventually, many get there.  Some ride almost all the way and get halted at the 700-800 mile marker and many others who make a ride and have considerable miles under their horses hooves before being halted for whatever reason.

But because I was only three days into it the disappointment was not as deep as it could have been like it was in 2009 when I was halted at the 400+ mile marker on Eve.  Few set out though and I should be happy with even trying - but I'm not.

But enough about the past, as that is done, all I can do is stay in the moment and look forward and I am trying to do that.

Sophie is just fine in her own right and happy to be a "local around the neighborhood horse". It was for this reason that I have been through a variety of long riding horses in the last three years and have not attempted a ride with her before.  Seeming that our relationship deepened and she showed great promise out by ourselves over the last three years (and was able to carry my weight), I thought I would give her a try.  But still at her core, I cannot change who she is..and not do I want to force my agenda on her.  Because my agenda is not her agenda.  MY HORSE is always first as she should be. Forcing her to do something she hates would make a very hard long ride that much more difficult.  Who wants to fight with a horse for 1000 miles or more? I know I don't!  Horses change, just like people do. I am ok with that.

Will I ever take out to a long ride ever again?  I have no idea.  Is the yearning for the road still there? Absolutely! However, I am making no promises, no claims, no proclamations...and not saying a word if I ever take to the road again.  I can say this, for right now... I am feeling almost completely  "out of try".

I just hope that I haven't disappointed those who have helped me so much over the past years.  I feel the worst about disappointing them and all the hundreds of hours they have put into my ride with equipment, gear, support, advice, wisdom, cheerleading,  warmth, grace, humanity and humour.  I can't thank all of you enough out there who have put their lives on hold to help me figure this out... what we thought was once and for all!

One feeling I am having a hard time fighting and I am still processing is....maybe I'm just not good enough to become a Long Rider..... I don't say this out of pity or feeling sorry for myself, I say this because I just feel that way.  I certainly wouldn't blame all of those who have helped me give it this best shot to dust of their feet and leave me behind.  

In the past, I have had my adversaries say, "you will never make it one more mile, Megan".   Well, I've made many more miles...but in some ways, this is true.  I probably won't make it one more mile...not without some serious reflection and support to continue.

So for now, Buffalo Moon Expedition 2011 is now over.  Perhaps 2012 will bring something new and refreshing...a different route...and perhaps a horse (and no allergic reactions) that will carry me the whole way.

I remain hopeful...even though I am out of try.

Love to all of you....and thank you for everything.

Stay tuned for shorter rides for the rest of the season... I'm still exploring the US by horse...just not quite so far!