Moonsong Highlight: Shrike

I couldn’t utter my love when it counted
Ah, but I’m singing like a bird ‘bout it now
And I couldn’t whisper when you needed it shouted
Ah, but I’m singing like a bird ‘bout it now

The words hung above
But never would form
Like a cry at the final breath that is drawn
Remember me love when I’m reborn
As the shrike to your sharp
And glorious thorn

-Hozier, “Shrike”

Last week, I looked over an owner's mask to see her beautiful eyes fill with tears. She recounted a freak accident the week before, when she’d been thrown from her horse and injured. Her medical diagnostics revealed a sinister issue having nothing to do with the accident. She is alone with this overwhelming news.

I wanted so badly to see her face, to hold her hands, to put my arms around her. But I couldn't.

Another day, a trainer acquaintance of mine told me that her mother is in the end of her life, they won’t see each other again, and her husband was recently diagnosed with cancer. From six feet away, she said, “I am having a really, really hard time.”.

I wanted so badly to go to her, to sit next to her on the bench, to let her rest against me for a while. But I couldn't.

Another long-time owner told me during her horse’s session that she’s become depressed. Like many, her initial shock over the current situation first evolved into productivity. She completed projects and had time with her family. There was momentum. But things changed. She said, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”.

I wanted for us to snuggle her horse together, to tack him up together and take turns riding after his bodywork, to peck each other on the cheek when we said goodbye, like we used to, like little girls. But we can’t.

This is just a smattering of all the things people have shared lately. Some of us are directly affected by the virus. The rest are indirectly affected. Everyone seems sad.

My uncle passed away a few days ago. I am heartbroken for him, for my aunt, my cousins, and for our whole family. I was listening to music when I found out. At that exact moment, a song came on that I’d never heard before, the lyrics to which are at the top of this page. If you haven’t already, please read them now.

For a studio version of the song, click here.

I planned this post with the intention of sharing lots of kind and thoughtful gestures I’ve witnessed or received lately, through my work with horses; to offer some levity, like an antidote. There is certainly enough sparkly material for that!

But distraction would not be the most authentic way to honor the people and animals in my life right now.

I want to tell you that I understand how you feel, because I feel the same. We are together in this.

We don’t need to pretend, or sugar-coat, or minimize. Let’s say what's important, while we can. Now is the time.

I’ll start:

Thank you for all that you’ve given me. Thank you for sharing yourselves and your horses with me. You fill my heart with the love that keeps giving. I owe my life to you.

It doesn’t matter how well we know each other. If you are reading this and need help, just ask.  💗