My time at Zapata Ranch…

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

This last week I have been at the lovely Zapata Ranch in Mosca Colorado at the “Women and Horses in the West” retreat led by Dr. Bonney McDonald, English Professor at West Texas A&M.

The rich landscape, teeming with life in its myriad forms, is intoxicating. From the element of strong winds to the choral sound of birds singing their song of harmonic joy, I have been immersed in this natural world’s true expression. It has provided a time to be still and notice details while experiencing the “whole” as well. It has been a time to drink in the beauty that can be deafening and overwhelming at times. I have slowed down. To see and immerse in nature I have realized my mind must slow down to the pace of the ant’s workday. As that happens, much of what is locked in the cupboards of my inner life gets unlocked: emotions, ideas, awareness, sounds too busy to hear, and visionary exploration.

I have loved being able to see the tiniest of bugs fly, beautiful birds travel through the air with intention and grace, ride on the back of my horse Cheyenne as we travel together deepening our unspoken connection, and hear the song of creation. Her unfolding tapestry… as she weaves her strands of love through my breath and being.

I believe we all need to spend time in the natural world for our health and well-being. I believe we need to connect to plants, animals, and minerals. To know our relationship to every other thing. This is what a Medicine Wheel – or Circle of Life – is a symbol or map of Life and our interconnection to every other living thing. I believe this heals the loneliness we experience because of our disconnection from the natural world.

While here at Zapata I have been able to see many species of the animal world. The joy it brings to see an animal in its natural habitat is exhilarating and peaceful. I feel I belong to the weaving as I witness the bison herd, our ancient brethren, grazing and moving around, making their sounds, knowing we both have beating hearts that are meant to be here in this moment – connecting our lives with the intimacy of this time and place. I am moved and changed because of this. The hawk and owl in their respective trees show us the freedom of flight in their domain of the sky and the stark raving beauty of their brilliant essence.

It is captivating to experience the sun coming up over the mountain range with the layers of Mother Earth pulsing with pink warmth and beauty. I have loved being able to capture these moments of awakening with my camera but most of all just being in the ripening of the day.

I invite you to spend time in the natural world. When encountering an animal in the wild, I invite you to ask the question: Who are you? What do you need? This question could be asked in any of our relationships. To invite openness and newness, especially when we think we know the other. I believe it is essential to our true happiness and peace to connect to the animal world, the plants who give life, and the minerals that hold our earth together. Allow your spirit to enter this place of departure from the busyness of life. It is much more fun to live within the mystery and discover something new every day! I invite you to take the time to practice “gazing.”

I have immense gratitude for this beautiful biosphere and every place I have been that has helped me slow down, breathe deeper, and notice what is going on around me.

I also have a huge amount of gratitude to Bonney McDonald for her visionary inspiration to gather women and ignite our feminine community with a passion for literary exploration, deepening relationships, and having some good ‘ol fun.

Have a Soulful Sunday!