My dearest friends, on Friday August 29th 2014 we brought home a new horse. It turns out she came off the same ranch and was raised by the same wonderful people as our beloved and late Dell.
Here’s how this happened and my hope is that it leaves in wonder and awe of the way life, or God, or the Universe works.
And from my view, I would have to call it magic.
And the signs usually come in threes. So pay attention.
Two weeks after we lost Dell, I got a Facebook message from Jessie Salter, the woman I bought Dell from years before.
Jessie said this:
“Hey! How are you doing? So sorry to hear about Dell . I don’t know if you are ready or not yet but there is a buckskin mare for sale that we raised. Her name is Nicki and she’s been the kindest thing since the day she was born. I sold her last year to a dear friend of mine. And my friend just told me her family is moving to New Zealand and has to sell her. Just thought of you tonight as I was sitting here hoping she gets a great home as she is soooo love able.”
So lets rewind a bit shall we?
One week after we buried Dell, I was at the Livingston rodeo in Montana, and as I’m sitting in the stands watching barrel racing I get this intuitive hit. Well, slam really. I quickly turn to my friend and say, “its going to be a Buckskin or a Palomino,” with a huge smile on my face.
“What?” he says through the roar of the crowd.
“My next horse,” I clarify.
“Ok” he says with a bit of a twist on his face and goes back to watching the entertainment.
“Ya,” I thought, “for sure, a Buckskin or a Palomino.”
That was #1
So, as promised, Jessie put me in touch with her friend Brandy. We exchanged emails. I soon received an email from her with photos and video of this mare. As I’m watching the last video Brandy had sent of her, Nickki was being roped off of by a cowboy, and as the camera panned out a bit so you got a bigger view of the sky, and as I looked closer, there was a HUGE rainbow in the background.
Lets back up again.
The day we buried Dell I took the other two horses out for a ride. As I was coming around the corner past our house I looked up into the sky and saw one of the most stunning rainbows I have ever seen.
“There you are,” I thought, “hi girl. I miss you. I wish you were here.”
I began to cry.
I looked up again and said, “thank you. And I love you. Always.”
That was #2
On Friday August 29th, my very dear friend Shelby and I drove to Billings Montana with a trailer to meet this mare. I went with all sorts of emotions swirling around trying not to make much meaning out of it all. I was just going to meet a horse. Nothing more. Nothing less.
As Brandy pulled into the dirt parking lot with a big ol’ stock trailer my heart began to race.
I got out of the truck and walked around to the back and when Brandy opened the trailer door and I locked eyes with this horse it was done.
“Yes.” I thought. “We are going home.”
“Good.” I heard her say. “I’ve been waiting for you to come.”
We loaded her in our trailer and brought her home.
I got her set up in the dry lot and watched the other horses welcome her. And as I was walking back to the house I looked down and saw the most perfect heart rock.
I bent down and picked it up, showed it to my friend and her jaw dropped.
Lets back up one more time.
The day Dell died, I was on the east coast, specifically on the Cape. And even more specifically with some of my dearest friends, Caroline Ventola and her family, at their house right on the water, on a beach that Caroline had named heart rock beach, because of the obvious reasons. She had a HUGE collection of heart shaped rocks in her house. And we would spend hours walking up and down that beach collecting them.
After Dells death, all of us were sitting upstairs in the master bedroom in silence. Something of torture. Not knowing what to do or say or think. I was in shock and pain.
Luke, Caroline’s thirteen year old son, handed me a heart rock to put with Dell.
I took it. And I put it in my pocket.
On the plane from Boston that next day I had the rock in my pocket and would take it out every few minutes, roll it around in my hands, and wonder how I would ever get through this.
How was it that my life could change in a matter of hours?
How was it that I was going home to two horses?
And please, not my baby Dell.
And then I would stick the rock back in my pocket and cry.
A few things went into Dells grave that day: a letter from me. A letter from Olivia, Caroline’s fourteen year old daughter. A brush. A sunflower.
And the heart rock.
And there is #3
My life since her death has been a blur. Much of it I don’t remember. And yet these little things that lead us to big things are not something to be ignored, or discarded, or poo-pooed.
When we pay attention to our life, when we know what we want to create and we let go of the how, and watch life unfold in front of us, it will ALWAYS lead to extraordinary things.
Like a horse.
A horse I have named Sage.
And as my heart is still, and always will be, in recovery from such a tragic loss, nothing excites me more than to see what this new being will bring to not only my life and hers, but to everyone we have yet to touch, inspire and transform.
Cheers to that.
And thank you Dell for being there through it all.