I am in the process of selling my horse after 5 years. I got her to help me heal my body, by giving me an enjoyable pass-time and some physical work. I had to push myself - it took over a year to be able to get up without the mounting stump conveniently placed in my driveway. Shoveling manure was definitely a difficult job - one I can no longer do although I did do it for the first 4 years. The biggest payoff for me was to ride! I rode out on the properties adjoining my 30 acres of natural habitat - hundreds of acres of trees, meadows and deer trails. I discovered what worked and what didn't work with my mare - definitely different than with the geldings I had owned before. One thing I learned early on was that using a soft, but firm voice worked immeasurably better than a raised voice or a slap on the rear! (What communication style works best in your relationships?)
Ginger and Little Bit (or Little Butt) became my family after my divorce and the chaos that came after. I depended on my rides with Ginger when I could feel myself tensing up, becoming confused and angry. After a ride I could tackle my life again.
Now that I am uprooting my life - AGAIN - I must part with my dear friends, Ginger, Little Bit and my chickens. I will no longer have a garden, or the view of trees from my huge livingroom window. I will no longer have my beautiful new kitchen. I am hoping to give it to my daughter for their new house if it will work for them as I still have to pay it off (over 6K and the plumbing repair, another 6K). I have endured the onslaught that has been my life (I am sure I am not alone in this), but that is not the point of this episode. The point is, that the relationship I have with my animals, and Nature, will always be with me, even when I am no longer in their midst.
Relationships are difficult. You and I both know that. So what is the payoff in relationships? If they are so difficult, why bother? Because we are herd animals, just like my horse and my goat. The key is to build relationships that benefit BOTH PARTIES. That is the definition of a good relationship. And if the parties must part, due to choice or circumstance, letting go is vital to healing from the loss.
I know I will cry when they go. I am crying as I write this even thinking about having to let them go. It is some consolation that I have found them good homes. But the hole left in my heart when they are gone will be a long time healing. Not only am I losing dear friends I am losing a portion of my independence having to move into an apartment. I have always lived in my own home except for college. Still, I am making this choice because it will be better for me in other ways. I will be 10 minutes from my daughter instead of an hour. I will have no responsibility for anything but myself and my cat. My music can FINALLY be my priority. THAT is important to me!
So. Who knows what my future brings? I still have a couple decades of life in me. 20 years to leave my mark, to share my wisdom and love with whomever enters my life. I'll do more walking, biking, kayaking! I'll get some new gigs! I may even do a little touring. I am optimistic.