There’s a freedom in honesty that can’t be found anywhere else, and it starts with being honest with yourself. My best horse was buried yesterday morning, and the freedom it brought was breathtaking.

I probably won’t publish this for a while, but no matter, I’m writing it now. I’m not quite ready to share it all with the world just yet, but I know there’s beauty in sharing struggles and love in showing vulnerability even when you are hurting because it helps others realize they are not alone. We are never alone.

That horse gave me wings. Twenty-two years together was the longest relationship of my adult lifetime and we had that together. He taught me how to fly, and together we flew. Over jumps, through fields, out in the hunt field, and even across the sand along the ocean. We chased the wind together, and I’d dare say we even caught it a few times. And he was there for me through the hard times, too. Moving from my first rental farm to my own, then again up north and once more to the home I own on my own which would be for him – and several before him – his final resting place. I’m so blessed to be able to give him that. He was there through my kids moving in, the death of their mother, the pandemic, the death of my father, the loss of my cousin, and the passing of a friend – all the latter in just the past 4 years. It’s been a lot, but he’s always been there to hear my fears, let me cry on his shoulder, snort and roll his eyes at me when he disagreed, and in that even then he was still able to help me fly.

I was hurting because I wasn’t here when he passed. I knew it was coming and had planned for the vet upon my return, but time and the Universe took that decision out of our hands and he passed of a stroke at home the day before I returned. It took a bit to work through that – that was the crux of my grief, I think. Not being here with him in his final moments. I lost Lucky like that too, when I was also states away unable to get back in time but they’re together now, with Bobby, my old college horse who taught me everything about horses, and about listening too.

But like all things, when we examine what we consider to be our failures, often we find growth in them and it was the same with this. It just took me a week, what with my friend nearly dying in front of me (she’s recovering with a heart issue thank goodness), and getting slammed from all sides questioning what was real and what was not. Who was being honest with me now – why was my mother in the ER again, was it another real or imagined ailment? Should I be worried? Should I stay or should I go? Trying to be there in all the places for all the things just fragmented me from myself and I’ll be honest – and this is hard to say. I lost myself for a while that week, I did. But, I know there is freedom in honesty and there is, so I am honest starting with myself.

There are things I could have done better, handled better, said better, but I’m giving myself the grace to understand that giving it my best every day is better than being perfect. It means I am giving myself the room to grow and become all that much more free. I don’t need to run away or disappear. I have mountains right here. I have love all around me. I have the best people and animals surrounding me, even if some of them are buried in the yard, I still have their memories to make me smile. To help me fly free.

There’s a freedom in honesty that can’t be found anywhere else, and it starts with being honest with yourself. That freedom is truly breathtaking, so fly free. To all those around me who speak with honesty and integrity, thank you. To all those around me who push me to always be the better person, thank you. To those who support me by letting me talk in circles understanding that is what I need to do to wrap my brain around things when I am struggling, thank you. To the horses that made me a better rider, and a better human being, thank you. To the animals who taught me compassion and understanding, commitment through suffering, and when it was time to stop suffering and let go, thank you. And to all of those moments, those glimmers where hope glistened on the ocean, where we chased the wind – and caught it, where my laughter over the sound of pounding hoofbeats galloping across the hillside jumping all the stone walls in our way, thank you. Life is such a beautiful thing. The Sky really is the Limit. Fly free.