Anticipatory Joy

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According to this video, we’re happiest when we have something to look forward to each day:  whether it be a vacation or a new exercise class you’re trying with a friend…

What do you look forward to today?

Tomorrow?

For me, after spending hours of what seemed like days on the internet looking for places to live (within my limited budget) by the latest job I’ve chosen, Sunday was such a day of anticipated joy.

Sunday came around and I found myself driving through the winding countryside past many parked cars by cherry farms where the city people had come for the weekend to pick the cherries. I was surprised by the crowd the day of sunlight in the cherry farms brought.

But I wasn’t headed to a cherry farm. I was headed to a mini yoga-meditation retreat at a therapeutic horse ranch!  I spent the day with almost a dozen horses and at least twenty fellow yogis/ horse lovers. We watched in awe as the owner of the ranch struck her meditation bowl and it chimed to signal for the horses to join us.

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They heard the chime and they came ambling and running down a hill into the arena where they basked in the attention of their adoring fans. We spent about an hour in the arena as the horses, yoga instructor and the shade of the trees competed for our attention. Then we had breakfast and gathered in a white tent sitting on cushions where we were led in Kundalini meditation with the horses  making horse sounds outside of the tent. Afterwards, we were carted, walked or drove up a hill past a broken windmill and through the gates of a lovely hammock and garden. We gathered in a small studio to be immersed in an hour of a live sound bath of poetic summer solstice themed mantra, crystal singing bowls, gongs, triangles, didgeridoo, rain stick, ocean drum and so many instruments and sounds! Then, it was back down the hill for a catered luncheon with the horses.

For me aside from watching the birds and horses interact, and listening to the talented hosts of the event, one of the most memorable things were the stories and conversations with people. We were informed that these horses were trained therapy horses, so I took notice when the horses wandered to a mother in mourning for her only child. There were many people there in the fields of education, social work and therapy, which I found interesting. I listened raptly at the story of the birth of the last foal on the ranch. There was also the story of a group of former human traffic victims whom had camped and saw life outside a city with the horses for the first time. And the story of how the owners of the ranch had been told they would never be sold the property and then the serendipitous meeting of a stranger at a yard sale who offered them $400,000 for another property nearby so that they could offer their landlord the money to buy the ranch. There were so many friends and strangers whom I met that day out in the countryside… I returned refreshed ready for bends in my road because they remind me of that time in the countryside.

 

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