April 26, 2018

The Horses Across the Road

Six beautiful horses live across the road from me – they’re my closest neighbors. As I sit at my desk I can see them and I’m mesmerized, watching them as they stand and graze, run or even roll on the ground. There’s one that always fascinates me ~the yearling. 

When I moved here last summer, there was a new foal. It was a bit wobbly and very long-legged, and never strayed far from its mama. I watched it grow for several months, then one day it was gone.  The winter passed and now the foal is back and is a yearling. It doesn’t follow its mother around so much, and spends more time with the other horses, looking like it wants to play.

I was talking with the owner of the horses the other day and he told me that a foal must be separated from its mother to be weaned and to learn to be independent. And soon it will find its place among the small herd. It’s a primal experience as it makes its way and rejoins the herd.

As I watch the horses and especially the yearling, I’m reminded of the journey of recovering from breast cancer. Diagnosis and treatment is shocking, as I imagine it is to be suddenly yanked away from the mother and from the mother’s teat that was always available. Now I’m watching as the yearling finds its way among the other horses. It’s ungainly, sometimes skittish and still growing rapidly. It’s very beautiful.

You are very beautiful! Breast cancer shakes the very ground we once thought so solid, and then we find our way again, deeply changed by the experiences. Life can feel unstable, unpredictable, and like completely new terrain, especially as a woman. Watching you as you navigate this moves me to my core. I see you, and you are beautiful.

Please share about your experiences learning how to navigate now, particularly about your femininity, intimacy, sexuality and relationships. Your words will be a gift to all of us!


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