Where do you go, I was asked, when you need to unwind, or recharge?
Where do you go to reconnect with the world?
Ahh, I told them. I have a place. First, I make my way up a stony path. It starts at my house and winds its way through the manuka trees until I reach the top of the hill. The path changes then. It’s full of ferns and gums, and there are springs that run little rivers under my feet, causing the ground to splash up around me.
There’s a gate at the bottom, with a trough to one side. I push it open and walk in. And in there, along with my glorious paint horse, I find my little Irish pony Bear. He’s only one year old. He sees me. And every time, he comes, and he asks for his beautiful head to be held in my arms, and I take it.
I stroke his eyes and tell him how much I love him, how grateful I am for him.
Of every horse I’ve ever owned, Bear loves hugs. He loves hugs in a way that causes you to lose sight of what’s your body and what’s his.
Where you lose your face in his fur, and where his kind eyes like pools of melted chocolate make you feel like all is right with the world.
In that same paddock, I tell them, with my paint horse and my Irish pony, there is a big log. It’s so big that if you sit behind it, no one can see that you are there.
And I go to sit, and my little big Irish pony sits with me, and we put the world to rights.
And I’m reminded that when the world created kindness, they poured it into Bear. I feel his emanations going through me, bouncing off me.
Yesterday, I lost Bear.
For 24 hours, he was very ill. And in the same time, I held his head and I told him that I loved him and that I was proud of him.
I reminded him of our log. And I hoped that in even a tiny way, I could give him a glimmer of the comfort and love he had poured into me over his short but mighty life.
I tried to love him to life, even when I could see him slipping away.
I told him, Bear. I want to adventure through the mountains and rivers with you. I want for you to be here so I can love on you.
But it can be in this life or the next. And if you choose the next one, I will meet you there.
Bear chose the next one.
I want to say I lost a piece of my heart yesterday. That’s how it feels. But I think in reality, it grew bigger. That now my little place with Bear behind the log is not a place without, but a place within.
I won’t be the same for loving you. But I guess I’m not meant to be.
I do love you, my little Irish pony. I miss you so hard.
You were all things good in the world.
I’ll see you up the mountain.