This Friday is a full moon – the Celtic Moon of Horses – and next week is the summer solstice – Midsummer’s Day. Six months have passed since I moved to the country. It seems to be a fitting time to reflect upon the failures and triumphs of the first half-year at Windhorse Retreat.
What a change over the past six months! We have gone from thigh-high snow to thigh-high grass, or head-high grass in places if you are Wee Sky. I have lost 10 pounds and now can toss a bale of hay, instead of being barely able to pick one up. I sleep well again. My shoulders are sore most days, but I am relaxed as I head out the door to go to work. No more commute to scoop poop.
It is a steep learning curve and I have not reached the apex, I am still on the slippery slope. Sometimes I worry. The details of daily living with horses and cats are ours to deal with – septic field, manure management, pasture rotation, hay storage, garbage dump, water quality, vaccination, deworming and the list goes on. I am glad for high-speed satellite internet as I google it all.
The equine-assisted learning business is not at the point where I would deem it successful, but I remain optimistic about the potential. There are challenges with setting up a rural business in “where the heck are you?” Alberta, challenges which I am trying to overcome with my wonderful partners in various aspects of this venture. Most days I still believe I was not crazy to abandon the urban lifestyle and good-paying job.
A bonfire is a centuries-old way to celebrate Midsummer’s Eve, and I will gaze into the embers and consider the last and the next six months. I am hugely grateful for everyone’s support, and will be sending thoughts of appreciation your way. If you think you hear nickering that night, feel horse breath on your cheeks and an ethereal hug, the Windhorses and I are saying thank you.