38, how glad I am that I keep going on. Where onto am I going?
My mom tells me this story sometimes, of when I was little, about 2 years old. One morning, she was surprised I hadn't gotten up yet, so she went into my bedroom to check on me, and I wasn't there. She frantically searched all over the house. I wasn't there. She noticed that the screen to the front door wasn't fully closed, so she went out, running down our driveway. Scanning all around, she went down toward the top of the pasture, she saw me, through the fence, through the horses legs, sitting, in my pale purple nightgown, at the front of his hooves, practically leaning up against him. My mom said he was known for being skitterish. She was really scared that she would startle him as she very slowly approached. She had to move quietly and smoothly. She said her heart was beating hard with fear, but that I was perfectly serene, sitting there at the horses feet, looking out over the lower field. (I of course, was safely gathered up, and taken back into the house, in case you are wondering. Hence my ability to write this blog post)
I don't know why I like this story, when I hear it, I don't think about how I could have gotten trampled, I don't think about the pond, or stream at the bottom of the hill. I don't think about it as a 'what if?', or narrow escape, sort of story, or one of maternal fear (though those are all thoughts that would be very common to me, and a rational reasonable perspective for the circumstances). But instead, I like this story because I think of it as saying something about me, the quiet inner me. A story not of danger, but one of knowing I would be safe. Of whatever called me out of bed, and led me down the hill to sit in the grass among the horses. I don't feel the fear in the story when she tells it, though I hear hers, I feel a calmness, a knowness. A sense of belonging and place. An internal compass. I wonder at this part of me that I seem to have lost touch with. The part that just knows, and its innocence moves forward through risk, not bravely, for there is no thought that one needs to be bold with courage, rather just going along calmly if called.
Even now, I force feelings of foolishness upon myself, saying I should be embarrassed, for stating this, for holding up the naiveness of a toddler, and stating I want it reinstated. But of course, that isn't what I want, what I mean is, I do think knowledge is power, and fear can be a gift, I don't want to be simple in those ways, but I want to know me well enough, and my sense of the world well enough, to not waste time with worry and fear, when I am safe. I want to feel my inner compass, and move with knowness to where I belong, calmly. The simpleness, the purity, of that.
Some people stand safe in hurricanes, some aren't safe in padded rooms they never leave. When I feel pulled toward something, I want to focus on it, not on all the potential dangers around it. I want to be able to hear it, and follow it, with calm knowing.