EVER, EVER, EVER, IN THE HISTORY OF DAYS! As I walked up to the gate of Festina Lente, I wondered where I should go, to make my presence known, that I was there, whether I should go up to Jill’s office—

And there she was, crossing behind the gate, and we waved, and I went in.

Into the beautiful indoor, where some pony campers were dressaging. I was to wait until they were done, as a couple of the ponies in the lesson were to be my next Reiki clients.

I sat and watched, and began to get a notion about this dressage business. Many of my lesson mates find the flatwork boring; I love it. There’s nothing to match the feeling of getting Delilah to finally, truly, bend around my leg in a twenty metre circle. There’s nothing like a good canter on Reb to feel more secure in it when approaching a fence.

Never thought I’d be interested in the formality of a dressage test, though. But it’s all about communication, isn’t it? And achieving an invisibility in that communication, right? Something to think about…

I met several new people as I waited, all who knew why I was there, and who were not talking to me like I was some kind of hippy dippy weirdy. As the ponies under consideration were to work tomorrow, which made treatment inadvisable, a few candidates were to be fetched back from the fields.

I waited some more. I could have sat there all day, watching the pony campers dressaging, watching another group of riders come in and warm up in open order, could have talked all day with Paula, the yard manager, as she pointed out horses and filled me in on their personalities.

My clients arrived, two ponies in a big, covered holding pen, and one put in a loose box. The girls stared, but were told to leave me be. Sue was giving the ponies treatments. It was just me and them.

But not really. Even as quiet as the yard was today, there’s still activity of all sorts. Prince, a dark bay whose big, beautiful eyes reminded me of Delilah, was keen enough to receive, and allowed a fairly significant amount of energy to pass between us. At one point, he moved so that his neck leaned against my hip, and he lowered his head against my leg.

Then the hay came, and he was done. Teddy, a tiny gray, was less interested. I got my hands on him for a bit, but he couldn’t be bothered, not once lunch was served. I tried Prince again, who looked at me balefully, snorted, and moved off.

Okay. Time for Lockie. She, too, was engaged with her provisions. I thought, I need to look at my handbook… I wasn’t convinced it was to their benefit to treat them while they were treating themselves on another level.

I leaned against the wall of Locky’s loose box, and watched her eat. ‘Whaddya, think, Locks? Will we give it a miss?’ She chewed, but didn’t move away from me when I approached.

‘Are you giving her a treatment?’ A young girl put her head over the door.

‘Yeah,’ I smiled. ‘Although I’m not sure it’s the best thing, when she’s eating.’

‘Yeah,’ she replied. ‘So what are you doing?’

‘It’s called Reiki?’

‘Like massage?’

‘Well, I use my hands, but not like massage. I just kind of put them on, and energy goes into the horse, and they, uh—’ and I stumbled through a less than satisfactory explanation. Must work on my pitch, as it were.

But the girl seemed satisfied, and we chatted about Locky, about how she’s little but strong, and about the horse show, and about a good tack shop in Enniskerry, and then she moved on, and I…

I became overwhelmed by joy. The joy of standing around, talking about horses. The joy that a teenager would stop to chat with ancient auld me. The joy of actually doing this thing that I have waned to do for years, the riding and the Reiking. I lay my hands on Locky and I had to drop my head, because I was so moved by joy, I started to cry.

This healing business isn’t only one way, so it’s not.

I wasn’t sure until the end that I was getting any feedback from Locks, but when I had my hands over the base of her spine [I think— must bone up on horse anatomy] I felt a kind of rightness, and welcomeness. It felt useful.

Today I learned: that it’s not a good idea to Reiki the horses in that holding pen. It’s too busy. That I’d rather not treat them while they’re eating. That it’s not about me. There I was, standing there in front of the whole yard, waiting for a big release off the ponies to prove that I was doing it right. Waiting for a thing that would make me look like a genius.

One of the first lessons I got off a horse I was Reiking was from a little dude called Patch. As I stood there, waiting for the thing that would happen that make me know I was a good healer, that I was doing something, I got a message, as clear as if someone had spoken it aloud:

It’s not about you.

Got it. And I’m so much better for it. Ego out of the way, we’ll see what we see.

I also learned that three in a day is enough. And that the people at this incredibly open and wonderful place listened to the suggestions I made about feeding and privacy, and that we’ll institute the changes next time.

I sat on the bus back to town, chugging down my bubbly water and eating a sandwich, and I felt — I sat there and realised that I was in bliss. In that moment, I absolutely adored my life, and myself, unconditionally. I had had an extraordinary clutch of hours, and I had made it happen, despite the circuitous ridiculousness of the day’s journeying, maybe because of it, because it was vital enough for me to get up at 6[ish] to get on a bus, get on a tram, get in a taxi, get on another bus to get to yet another bus, to get to a moment on, yes, another bus, to give myself this day of days.

The incredible feeling passed, as all feelings do — the sandwich wasn’t very nice, but I was ravenous after the work, and oh, the stupid wrapper, better just bunch it up and stick it in my bag, will I get off and get on yet yet another bus, a quicker bus… and all the mundanity of being a human in the world with a commonplace decisions to make. But I’m left with the awareness that I was aware of it, and that is very much more than enough to be getting on with.

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