Perhaps there are those who are able to go about their lives unfettered by such concerns. But for those like us, our fate is to face the world as orphans, chasing through long years the shadows of vanished parents. There is nothing for it but to try and see through our missions to the end, as best we can, for until we do so, we will be permitted no calm.
The woman recovering from abuse or other stressful life situations may feel she's in no way in charge of anything, least of all her own world. She faces the horse with trepidation. The horse senses the fear and becomes tense and concerned. The wise instructor starts small. The woman is handed a soft brush and sent to fuss over the horse. It's pointed out that if she stands close to the animal, she will be out of range of a well-aimed kick. She is warned to watch for tell-tale signs of fear in herself and the horse. She's warned to keep her feet out from under the horse's stomping hoof. They're both allowed to back away and regroup and try again until they reach an accord regarding personal space. Calm prevails, and within a few minutes, hours or sessions, interaction becomes friendship. It happens almost every time a woman is allowed enough time and space to work through the situation. So a woman whose daily life is overwhelming her learns to step back. Is this a cure for her endless problems? Of course not. Simple is not simplistic.
But somehow, standing in the clear night air, under a sky that glowed like a shower of sparks, none of that stuff mattered. It slipped off me. It was like shedding your clothes before you step in the shower. I felt I was down to essentials again. In fact I felt very close to God at that moment. I guess if you're ever going to feel close to God it'll be while you're looking at the heavens.
Hope had finally learned to live in the present. Often, when she found herself in a space of tremendous comfort, usually out in nature, or when her children were safe all around her and on the verge of going to bed, she forced herself to take stock. Here you are, Hope, she told herself. What a beautiful moment. You may never again be here at this spot, enjoying the calm. This habit of hers, to acknowledge the immediate and elusive joy of the present, kept her sane.