As we grow older it is inevitable that we will face the fact that those tasks in life that we were able to do are no longer within our capabilities. Believe me it is a hard pill to swallow. Unfortunately we tend to refuse to recognize this. We are in denial and keep telling ourselves we can do it. By choosing this path we don’t always do what is best and prolong the inevitable. Just recently I found myself guilty of doing this very thing.
In 2003 I became a full time farrier. I built my business up to a point where I was doing around 1400 head of horses a year or roughly 30 head a week. During the summer you would find me under horses six days a week. During this time I saw so many horses that were never trained and wasting away in a pasture. Something I said I would never do, or so I thought.
I had purchased a cutting horse bred filly. She was quite the handful but managed to break her and had her going well under saddle. I lost her in a divorce and figured I would never see her again.
I began having breathing problems and my energy levels suffered immensely. This was a part of my life for three years, off and on. Finally I couldn’t go anymore. My “get along” had got up and left. It turned out I was bleeding to death internally. My body only had a third of the blood it needed circulating through my veins. The whole time I was struggling to stay under horses to make my living. The doctor told me he had no good explanation as to why I was still alive and that there was probably some damage done to my organs. To make a long story short I recovered but my pulmonologist informed me she thought I had some lung damage. It was evident in my shortness of breath and lack of energy.
Then one day I was given the opportunity to buy my filly, now a mare, back. She had a filly on her side. I brought them home thinking I would break the filly. My health issues changed everything. I kept telling myself I would get better and have the horse I had always dreamed about.
Unfortunately I was in full blown denial. I was becoming one of those people I had always despised just letting her talents go to waste.
Then in January I lost my beloved ride dog Kate. Reality slapped me square in the face. I wasn’t being fair to my filly. At the same time I was wrestling with the realization that I was no longer able to do what I could once do.
I finally admitted my training days were over and I made some phone calls. Some very good friends who I knew would give them both a good home, agreed to take them. They are going to use the mare for breeding and break the filly. I guess it is only fitting that the mare would be the last horse I would break.
“So don’t you sit upon the shoreline and say you’re satisfied, choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the tide.” The River, Garth Brooks
This is one of my all time favorites of Brooks. Not just because of my love of the river but because of the way he compares our dreams with the river.
Every flood that happens on the river changes the appearance of the river sometimes even changing its course. How many times has this happened to you? Some major life event happens and forces a change in your dreams.
How many times have you settled for second best instead of best because you keep letting it slip through your fingers and in your mind you won’t achieve “”best” so you give up on your dream and settle for second best?
St Francois River bear Farmington, MO.
As the water of the river enters a shallow area and the gradient of the river becomes steeper rapids are formed. These rapids are representative of the hard times in your life. What you do here is very important as to whether your dream becomes a reality or not.
People who float the rivers have different skills. There are six classes of rapids with I) being the safest and VI being the hardest and most dangerous. When a kayaker or canoeist comes to this spot they have to decide how good they are and they will either pull around the rapids or go for it. No one can make the decision for them. You have to make this decision yourself.
So here you are looking at that very spot on your “river of life”, you are at a point where it is very important to stay focused on your dreams. Don’t lose site of them. Could you fail? Failure is always a possibility. There are no guarantees in life except for the fact that in order to succeed one must try.
So here you are. You have to decide what you are going to do. Are you going to sit upon that shoreline and be completely satisfied or are you going to choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the tide?
The rain has pretty much settled in for the night. I sit here with my eyes closed listening to the raindrops dancing on the tin roof creating a soothing symphony.
My mind focuses on those brave men and women, the pioneers, who settled the west. They had no idea of the challenges they would face. The only idea they had of where they were going was the tales they had in there minds put there by the adventurers who went before them.
There were stories of feast and famine. Massacres. Whole wagon trains who died and didn’t fulfill their dreams. Disease and prairie fires. Yet these people had a dream that so obsessed them they were willing to sacrifice anything and everything to follow their dream. That profound dedication my friends died with them and no longer exists in this country anymore.
I don’t know if you have ever been camping in the rain but I can tell you from experience it can be very miserable.
I sit here in the coziness of my cabin listening to the rain and I have a vision of men, women, and children huddled together under the rain fly of a wagon trying to get their nourishment so they will have the stamina to do another 10 to 20 miles beginning at dawn. One can only imagine the sore muscles they must have been nursing. Wondering how much further they have to travel. How many more river crossings and broken wagon wheels they will have to endure. Will it be their wagon that breaks this time? How many more of their possessions will they have to leave behind so they can lighten the load on the wagons so they can get them over the mountain?
With these things dancing through their minds it had to be difficult to sleep. Knowing all to well they needed to sleep so they could get the much needed rest to complete another leg of their journey.
The fingers of dawn ascend on their camp. The rain has stopped and the day promises sunshine to dry things out. They begin packing the wagons, hitching the teams and checking the wagons so they can start out once again. They have to battle the annoying suction created by the mud delivering another hardship for them to deal with.
Guts and grit kept them pushing toward their destination and failure was not an option. True representation of determination and faith. They not only needed faith in God. They had to have faith in those leading them and most of all faith in themselves. There were those who celebrated and those who endured heartbreak. So many died along those trails who never lost sight of their dream and died trying to bring their dream to reality.
People could learn a lot from these pioneers and use it in their lives to achieve their dreams. Don’t ever stop believing. They didn’t.
Spread the love and be kind to one another. It doesn’t cost you anything.
“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. The’re there to let you know that something is worth it.” – C. Joy Bell C.
Somewhere on the Bourbeuse River
As a child I was afraid of the dark. I didn’t have a night lite in my room. Nope. No night light. No siree. You kidding? I had a freaking flood light. I WAS going to see that monster under my bed before it got me and carried me off to where ever monsters take little kids. Thank the good Lord I finally out grew it.
I came across this quote some years ago and I could relate to it so easily. If they aren’t there to scare me you couldn’t prove it by me because it scared the hell out of me. I realize now that my fear of the dark was just trying to tell me that there was really something worth it and that I needed to kick this bad boy’s arse and start enjoying the dark. Finally that day arrived and I put on my big boy panties and never looked back.
When I go to the river I like to get there about 3 pm or 4 pm. Then I stay all night til about noon the next day. The rewards of being on the river at night are abundant. Normally you don’t have too many people to deal with. You don’t have to worry about getting sun burned. You are serenaded by frogs and crickets. Some nights you get to experience light shows like you have never seen. It is so alluring to experience the magical properties of the river at night. I highly recommend that everyone experience one night on the river by themselves. You won’t be sorry.
Fire on the banks of the Big River
In closing someone has asked me what I mean by “share the love”? Simply share your “passion” or “love” of something that you do with the rest of us. Cooking, hiking. photography, kayaking etc, Whatever it may be.
Thanks for reading. Be kind to one another, share the love and God Bless each and every one of you.