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December 28, 2018: Unconditional Love

Today, Pete and I first took Hrimmi and Tyra for a short ride on Siggi’s Trail. Then I did the same, riding Raudi while ponying Tinni. I had not ridden in three weeks because of my lower back being sore. I decided some time ago not to ride when something is amiss with my body because this can affect the horses’ balance. And their balance being affected can lead to lameness and other injuries.

It was a tough call because I knew they needed the exercise. Instead, I walked them nearly every day and did agility. I made the right decision because all felt good and they were energetic. And I felt the same way. And after, Pete said that he thought that all the agility we’ve been

Tyra with her Santa's helper bags for agility
Tyra with her Santa's helper bags for agility

doing has served the horses in good stead. By way of example, he said that Hrimmi waited nicely by the gate on the way back up to the house. This statement meant a great deal to me because Pete, as the videographer, has put in untold hours in the Playground of Higher Learning. This is time he could spend doing other, seemingly more important things.

At the roots of my obsessiveness is a sense of deep-seated responsibility. There are days (particularly when it’s cold) when I don’t feel like expending the energy needed to care for or ride the horses. But I do this with a single-minded intensity of focus because it is the right thing to do. And during and after, I feel good about this.

El says that she thinks I love the horses. This may be so. Do they love me? I have no idea. I do know that I’m their chambermaid; home entertainment center; sports therapist; strength, cardio, and fitness trainer; and activities director.

What, anyways, is love? I don’t have a definition. Most would agree with me that love can become fear or distain if you treat an animal or person unkindly.

And although I can’t define it, I know that there is unconditional love. This form of love is very rare and is heartfelt. Okay, I do feel this way about all our animals. Something one might do might momentarily annoy me, but seconds later I am back to feeling like I’m the luckiest person in the world to be in their company.

The same holds true of my feelings for Pete and Eleanor. Without one or the other, I’d feel bereft. I suspect that they feel the same way about me, although my saying this is a stretch. I’m opinionated, judgmental, intolerant, insensitive, and self-centered. I am not at all proud of these truisms, and I’m working on bringing out the opposite traits. I’m also now hard of hearing, which I know is annoying – pretty soon I will get hearing aids, which will make life easier for those around me.

Henry James said that the most important thing of all is to be kind, and that the second most important thing is to be kind, and the third most important thing is to be kind. Well, that’s the first step; others will follow.

Next: 363. 12/29/18: State of the Barnyard Address

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