On Glimmers, Shards & Small Happinesses

Share this article with your friends and family

There’s a small mound that lies a few meters down from our top paddock that’s one of my favourite places to sit. Maybe you would like to sit there with me too. It’s covered by long grass which makes it a little hard to see, but if you go through the gate and head left towards the arena, you’ll see me sitting there. There’s absolutely space for you.

The horses, most likely- if this is a normal day- are there in front of me. Eating each a pile of hay. Elvis, my husband’s horse, will tell the others in no uncertain terms that sharing’s not for him. His ears will pin right back. His head will toss to add a bit of drama and their advances will be met with his hind end, a clear signal saying it’s better if they stop.

In response, Merc will scuttle off. He is a peace lover after all. Not interested in fights. Ada will have tried to have at least a nibble, hopeful of perhaps being friends. And when Elvis tells her once more that this pile is definitely his, she will make the opening and closing motion with her mouth, that baby horses do, in the hope her age will grant her a free pass. Which, in this situation, never works.

We can sit and we can watch their gentle politics. We’ll probably quietly chastise Elvis, amid soft laughs. “Don’t be such a grump,’ we’ll say.

We might point to other piles of hay: ‘Over there’ we’ll tell them, ‘Don’t get mixed up in his stuff, he’s being mean’.

And then eventually, the tetris of the feed time will all settle, and conversation, both horse and human will all stop. And we’ll be left with the sound of air and birds and whatever particular words captures the sound of horses eating hay, that’s as calming as a heartbeat and a hug.

This last couple of weeks have been a little rough. I have had a flu that’s completely knocked me out. If I felt ok in the day, the coughing kept me up all night to the point where I was seeing stars and was good for little more than lying flat in bed. When a body is forced to lie still, it’s interesting to observe what swirls close to the edges of the skin. One day, two days, I feel I can get away with, but beyond that, I start to get concerned.

I have things to do, people to show up for. For those of you who are self-employed know, nothing outside of you stops even if you do. It’s a difficult conundrum. It’s easy to say, ‘you have to rest’- and I agree completely- but there are very real responsibilities and concerns of the day to day that are not made up or the product of mental drama or self-interested imagination. I am yet to reconcile all the sides and moving parts.

And yet, in amongst it all, I recognize my privilege and my blessings. I talk with people who are really doing it tough. Those who are caregiving or are needing care themselves. Those who feel overwhelmed by the state of the world, or who are stumped in their horsing life to the point where what’s not working feels utterly consuming. I hear their stories and wish that I could fix them all.

The offer to sit next to me, on the little mound of grass, at the top end of the paddock, is part of what I know is able to help. It’s the searching out of shards, of glimmers, of small happinesses.

When I think of the last little while, it’s the glimmers and the shards that have seen me thorough. Sitting and watching the horses eat hay. The new notebook I got with the hare on the front cover. All the lovely comments to an essay I wrote about frogs. My husband making me endless cups of tea and bringing me hot water bottles. A scarf I’m knitting (I’ve taught myself to knit). The lovely comments from people in JoyRide telling me it’s ok. The specific light that hits the pillow in my bedroom around mid-afternoon. A new book that turns out to be really good. An idea for a course that I’ll put out soon.

Glimmers, small happinesses, however you refer to them, are as important as water and food.

Sitting here this morning, and writing this to you, I am not without my concerns or my worries. But I can hear the Kākā, a New Zealand Mountain Parrott, arguing with each other in the trees. The rain that was heavy last night has stopped and I’m grateful for the stillness. I can see the Kōwhai tree out my window, who never fails to watch over me. Every day I trace the outline of her branches and her leaves.

And even though as I type, I have described these things as small, the little voice inside of me says that’s not true. It’s the noticing of such things that is, in fact, the everything.

So, although you may not be in a position to sit beside me, or for us to have a coffee and talk about our day, perhaps together we can look out for the shards and the glimmers knowing that someone else out there is doing the same.

We’re all in this together, after all.


❤️ Jane

Have you checked out the Confident Rider Podcast? Don’t forget to subscribe to the show and share if you enjoyed it! The podcast is available on iTunes, Soundcloud, Google Play and Spotify.

Subscribe to The Confident Rider Podcast 🎧 below and discover why thousands of other riders are tuning in each week!

Join me for a free, 21-day challenge to incrementally expand your comfort zone and put some daily deposits in your Brave Bucket!