A New Direction

NEWS III 1200 WM

Things are changing here on the farm. It’s time to shed the old to make room for the new.

Change invariably means discomfort ~ it’s why so many people are averse to engaging in it.  A proverbial “Do Not Disturb” sign hangs on the psyche of most because the need to hold on to the known, even if it feels debilitating, is the rut they know how to negotiate. It takes courage to forge a new path and stake claim on a new way of life. When thinking back to the city folk I used to be and the country folk I’ve become during the past three years, I know that the change, notwithstanding all the challenges and discomforts, is the best thing I could have done for myself. My health is better; my resilience strengthened.

And so, like the proverbial software upgrade, we’re updating to a newer version of our farm, complete with another learning curve.

Exciting and slightly unsettling all at once.

Sophia copy

 

In the meantime, Sophi and I deepen our bond as we continue our climb up the dressage training ladder. So much fun and so satisfying to grow in this way while the winds of change blow about us.

Change is inevitable. How we adjust to it depends entirely on our attitude and our willingness to accept an opportunity to grow. For me, this represents yet another chance to shed the negative old that no longer serves to make room for the positive new. I relish the opportunity.

Nurture what you love …

Dorothy
Horse Mom

~*~

©Dorothy E. Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2019

 

 

Weathering

Weathered

The ravages of time take their toll. We are weathered by the challenges we face; the people we encounter; the experiences we have, and the joys and troubles we share. For good or ill, life weathers us, and we either wear it well or we allow it to wear us down.

I know as an equestrian that while I still ride and love it, my limits are now set by the wear and tear on my body and a sense of my own mortality. Life has weathered me to a new level of self-awareness and taught me to respect my own boundaries. Just as I cannot expect an old performance horse to perform the strenuous tricks of his earlier career I, too, must cut myself some slack.

When it comes to our farm everything about it is weathered to one degree or another, and since landing here in autumn 2016, we’ve committed to sprucing it up a little at a time. Taking on a run-down 100-acre horse farm is no picnic and presents all kinds of challenges. Priorities must be set, and accepting the fact that some things are perfect in their imperfection is an important thing to bear in mind. Our schedule for improvements must not compromise the integrity of the farm’s character.

Old Shed

This old place has seen a lot during its 150-plus year history. To the extent that it’s possible I want to work with the local museum and archives to discover who put down roots here and how the property evolved and changed over time. Who had the vision; built the original buildings; planted the trees. We’re going to acknowledge those who pioneered here with an historic plaque and place it by the original hog barn (above), the weathered foundation of which was built with stone found on this property.

Barn Quilt

In 2017 we had a barn quilt created and installed as an initial tribute to the farm’s history. It adorns the front of the original bank barn which was modified to accommodate horses in 2000 as part of a major building project by the then owners. The pattern is called Hunter Star, and the colours  we selected bear some meaning. The green represents the proliferation of trees on the farm. The blue is for the headwaters of several rivers that have their source in these rolling hills. The plum is for a previous name of this farm (Plum Tree Farm) which we discovered while going through the basement and finding a piece of folk art of the original farm house and the barns (pictured below). And the maple leaf, of course, is to commemorate Canada’s 150 years of confederation. For point of reference our farm, homesteaded some time in the 1840s, is older than Canada.

Plum Tree

Of course, there are lessons to be learned on a more personal level as well. One of my greatest challenges is accepting that I, too, am perfect in my imperfection. Time and its ravages have indeed weathered me, but they’ve also helped me to identify my priorities. Good health. Good works. Healthy relationships. Experiencing and sharing joy. And creating and maintaining an environment here on the farm where horses and people can thrive on every level.

Weathered barn

 

Some days I feel more weathered than others. Bear’s passing was a harsh excuse for the building of character. Still, even as I rebuild and repair from that unexpected blow I remind myself that I want to thrive on the other side of life’s storms, not end up a broken relic. Resilience is its own reward.

Nurture what you love …

Dorothy
Horse Mom

The Kiss

~*~

Weekly Photo Challenge: Weathered