I Need Some Calm Abiding.

The wall of my calm serenity has started to come unspackled, as I try to maintain my self while keeping up with the Peach Clubhouse, which seems to have an overactive personality. I had to stop exercising because I broke a rib leaning over a chair at our second movie (just think of all the actually dangerous things I have done – it’s humiliating). When was that, about 3 months ago. It hurt. Then I was off to a multimedia conference followed by the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arkansas and then followed by six days on the train (an event on its own) to a Pema Chodron retreat/workshop. It’s too much, and I’m just beginning to remember what it feels like to not be doing or shouldhavedone something.

Back in the day when I intentionally participated in all that nonsense, I didn’t know there was a calm serenity. I thought the goal was to win something. At that point, I pretty much knew more than anyone else about a few things. I bet to this day you don’t know why calico cats have bigger patches of color than tortoiseshell cats. So of course once I knew that, I had to keep on knowing more, but thank goodness I and my colleagues wrote the book and now everyone else knows too, and there’s no chance of me ever again knowing more than anyone else about any one little thing. What a relief.

And I’m pretty sure there is some calm serenity out there someplace if I could figure out where it is.

All that is to say that I have finally again settled into my routine. At my age, skipping a few weeks of exercise is inviting a fairly long battle against entropy, just to get back where I had been deteriorating to when I quit. But I was able to restart the exercise routine last week, and started riding again today. Just one small jaunt around the back pasture on the old lady leader of our little herd.

Mahonia was delighted; she likes her little ride, and follows after me when she’s finished breakfast, to suggest I put the saddle on. So today I did. And her two younger cohorts came prancing after us, romping in circles and snorting like the Black Stallion in the movie, trying to get Mahonia to follow their lead rather than mine. They think she belongs to them, and they are very solicitous. It will be a sad time when she moves on to higher pastures. But in the meantime they care for her in every way they can, and when Mahonia and I rode too close to our little dying pond, Postdoc charged in front of us, pushing us away from the danger even though it meant bogging herself to the belly in sucking mud.

And I get to be part of this little herd. What a privilege. Maybe this is where the calm abiding has been hiding all along. Out in the back pasture. While I was looking for it in “success.”

I bet I’ll be stiff tomorrow ☺

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