Monday, December 29, 2008


I was thinking the other day that my horse has come into my life for a reason. I don't know what the reason is, at least not yet, but I do believe that his presence here isn't random.

And then I thought, "Maybe I've come into his life for a reason, too. "

I suddenly realized that where I once saw Wolfie as the superior half of our partnership--the more perfect being who was here to help me--I now see, in a way that I had not understood until now, that I am also here to help him. Not just to feed him and make sure his stall is clean and he gets plenty of time outdoors. It goes so much deeper than that.

(People who don't believe that animals have souls couldn't be more mistaken.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I realized today that fear is just worrying about something that hasn't happened yet--something that may never happen. 

The more you believe that something bad will happen ("I will slip and fall" "My horse will spook and I'll get hurt" "This will be too difficult and I will fail"), the more likely it is that that will indeed happen. You use up valuable energy by worrying about the thing that hasn't happened yet, instead of being in the moment and using that energy to support yourself as you negotiate the situation.

You can handle whatever comes. You may not handle it gracefully, nor perhaps as well as you might like, but you can walk across the ice without falling, and ride through whatever your horse may or may not do. 

You're just that good. 

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Is being on time a virtue? I'd like to think so, but I'm the only one I know who's always on time. I'm well-brought-up, and have always thought that it's somewhat disrespectful to be late. I plan ahead. I don't keep other people waiting. And I spend a lot of time waiting for other people to get wherever it is they have said they'll be at an appointed hour.

What makes everyone think it's alright to be 10 or 15 or 20 minutes late, everywhere they go?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Storm Warning

The first real snowstorm of the season is on its way, just in time to make that whole "White Christmas" thing a possibility this year. I'm feeling a tad bah-humbug these days, so the prospect of a good storm seems just the ticket.

The bah-humbug thing is not really holiday-related; I'm just tired of the status quo and haven't figured out yet what I need/want to do to change things up. Mostly I want to figure out how to get out of my own way, how to let go of what I no longer want or need to make room for what will come next. Something always comes along, eventually or abruptly--it might knock the door down and wreak havoc in my life or perhaps it will tiptoe in, take a seat, and wait until I notice that it has indeed arrived.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Deep Background

Today I was looking at some old photos on Facebook, posted by a high school classmate of mine, Jeff Lusenhop. He got his high school graduation photos digitized and had posted a few.

Scarily bad 1971 clothes and hairstyles on people I haven't thought about for many years. I immediately recognized Sheri and Teri, the identical, incredibly nice, cheerleading twins, in matching white dresses, leggy and tanned as they always were (and shall be forever, in my memory).

Then suddenly, there's my dad, looking relaxed and happy, smiling and looking down at his camera as he walks through the crowd. An amazing coincidence--he's just background noise in Jeff's graduation photos, some stranger who wandered into their family's photo album.

It is lovely to see him; he was younger at that moment than I am now, in the middle of his life on a beautiful, celebratory summer day in downtown Dayton. I realize once again how much I miss him, and am once again grateful for how much of him lives on in me: my love of words, my work ethic, and, I confess, my penchant for a good argument.

(Thanks to Jeff Lusenhop for posting this photo.)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

First Snow

I'm waiting for the first snow of the season--they've promised us at least a dusting in the next 24 hours. Got a last pre-snow ride in with Wolfie today as the sky turned that leaden, nearly colorless shade that signals snow on its way. 

Unlike many people around here, I like snow, gentle and magical or wild and dangerous. Nothing like a lazy afternoon with big snowflakes coming down, a fire in the grate, and a good book. And I love blizzards, with their impending-doom, natural-disaster edge--Laura Ingalls Wilder's family hunkering down on the Plains, their house half-buried in snow, a howling maelstrom just outside the door. 

* * *

I remember several years ago going to Gordon and JoeAnn's out on Eastern Point during a blizzard to watch a Patriots game. My car got stuck in the deep snowdrifts that had accumulated on the road to their house, so I wound up staying overnight. In the morning, we had breakfast in the kitchen of their old farmhouse before I set out alone, making my way home on borrowed skis.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Shooting Stars

Late last night, as I returned home from an evening out, I glanced up at the sky hoping to see once again the rare alignment of Jupiter and Venus that has been visible for the past few evenings. Instead, I saw a shooting star, its long tail bright and clean against the darkness of the night sky.

I love seeing shooting stars; they're so random, and, in my life, so rare. It always feels like a gift, as if the universe is telling me, "Yes, we're here. Take heart; this is for you."

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Nice Girl from Ohio

When I was in high school, there was a joke about the difference between a nice girl and a good girl. A nice girl goes out on a date, comes home, and goes to bed. A good girl goes out on a date, goes to bed, and comes home. 

Turns out that I'm a nice girl from Ohio after all. I floss. I tell the truth. I don't litter. And I don't do the "friends with benefits" thing. 

Many people do; opportunities abound. Hey, why not? Just because there's no one on the scene whom I'm in love with, why not take friends up on their offers and interest? Time is passing, and I'm not getting any younger. 

But, it seems, I am getting smarter about myself--I'm the one who wakes up with me in the morning and faces myself in the bathroom mirror. And I don't like how it feels to be treated as a convenient option. I want the real thing: love, passion, trust, partnership, constancy, true intimacy. Anything less just highlights what sometimes appears to be the great distance from here to there.

Nothing less will do.