It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now.”George Harrison
I recently received some news that shocked me and reinforced the importance of living every day in the present moment. I have a friend who I have known since we both were 5 years old. We both lived and grew up on the West Coast in British Columbia,went to the same schools and most importantly we rode at the same barn. She is the friend who introduced me to horses and started me on my horse journey.
Her Mother used to pick us up from school and take us to the barn. For the first year my parents leased a horse for me. He was a palomino named Mr.Sunbeam. After a year they realized that this horse riding thing was going to stick and they bought a small (just over 15 hands) mustang that had come into the barn. I was 10 and he was just the right size for me. I called him Willy. He was a terrific jumper and we did lots of shows together. My friend had a lovely Welsh pony called Cavalier and we rode each week in lessons together. We would hack over to an indoor arena for our lessons. This arena had been built for Inez Fischer Credo. We learned that she did Dressage! None of us had any idea what that was all about but we knew she must be good at it because she rode for Canada in the Rome Olympics in 1960.If you had told me then I would end up being a dressage rider I would have laughed in disbelief.
I stopped riding during my second year in university. I didn’t have enough time or money to keep going. I was not actively riding for the next 30 years. But my friend kept riding and kept jumping. She competed in many big jumper competitions. I had tremendous admiration for her courage in continuing to jump as we got older. She also qualified as a hunter jumper coach.
Last year her Christmas card had a photo of her jumping her mare Hylight. I took the photo to my barn and showed it to my coach, Belinda and her assistant Lynsey. I said ,with great pride: “This is my friend I’ve known, and used to ride with, when we were kids.She’s the same age as me!” We were both 73.
This year her mare Hylight was the one meter Champion for BC. One meter jumps may not be huge jumps but they look pretty big to me. I was looking forward to seeing my friend and her daughter at the Royal Winter Fair. Then she sent me an email. She’d had a fall from her horse and had some health problems and was not well enough to come to the Royal. Well, I emailed back that I had fractured my hip earlier in the summer and was not walking well enough for the Royal either. I got out my friends phone number and called her last week. I asked about how she’d had a fall from her mare. She told me she was competing and came up to the last fence in the course. Her mare had a spook and ran out from the jump. My friend kept going toward the fence and fell onto the jump. This is something that happens to even the best jumper riders. She told me she knew she had hurt herself so she did not get up. Later she had xrays and broken ribs were revealed. However she told me she knew there was more to it than just broken ribs. Diagnostic imaging revealed a more serious problem. Cancer. She told me cancer had invaded parts of her body.
She sounded calm about her situation and she told me she’d had a great life with so many blessings. “I couldn’t ask for more,” she said. I was grateful that she seemed to be accepting her situation with such a positive attitude. But I was deeply shocked to hear her news. When I got off the phone I decided that the thing I had to take away from this was to remind myself that life can pass you by unless you are present in every moment of every day. We spend a lot of time planning what we will do in the future. But the future is not under our control. This friend was the person who had introduced me to horses and with whom I had started my riding journey. Horses always live in the present moment. That is what they have taught me and if it were not for my friend I would not have had the opportunity to learn that from horses. I am very grateful to her for that.
Be where you are otherwise you will miss your life.Buddha
This is my friend and her horse Hylight.She is holding two first place ribbons from a competition this past summer. And it looks like the ribbon Hylight is wearing is a Champions ribbon.