Lessons from the Universe are always present, and finding the stillness within us can allow those lessons to be comprehended. As we all have found, the lessons come quietly, but at times the lessons are as loud as a rushing waterfall.
My first lesson from the Universe came to me at the age of 6. My Shetland pony, Trixie was enjoying her oats. I decided to get on her back and enjoy that moment with her. I had no bridle or halter, but I easily stepped on the fence and sat on her back as I had done so many times. I can still feel that stillness with Trixie and that sense of love and harmony, if only for a moment. It felt so familiar, like I had been at that place before.
Then a thought rushed over my mind of her running with me to the end of the pasture and of me screaming for her to stop but she wouldn’t. I could get hurt and I could not stop her. At that moment, she took off at a full gallop. The other horses were at the end of the 60-acre pasture and I felt her little legs running for them. I held on to her mane, crying in fear. We finally reached the horses and I slid off. Why, oh why, had she done that to me? Although I rode horses until I left for college and still ride horses when given the chance, I have never forgotten the fear that I felt that day when my trust and innocence was lost.
While in college and during my first 10 years of married life after college, animals – especially horses and dogs – were not of my realm. I was a business person, utilizing my mind in a capitalist society. My dear husband and I went backpacking and camping every chance we had, but our little peaceful home life was not to be disrupted by the chores and mundane demands of animals. Neither horse nor dog was to be a part of our clan.
At our 10-year anniversary, that utopian world ended when intuition and a desire beyond our control brought Jasmine into our life. A wiry haired mixed breed pup with unknown lineage but eyes that melted my soul consumed our very existence. We both had this need to make sure everything was done right. She was in training and on the best food. I took classes, decided to start an apprentice program under a dog trainer because taking a class once a week was not enough. Jasmine needed her education in being a good dog constantly, and I needed the reassurance I was doing everything right.
Oh, those insecurities were to ruin me. If only she could learn to roll over. Why, oh why, was her little tail tucked all of the time? What is wrong with her?
Then one day, I looked at her and she looked at me and we recognized ourselves in each other. My mind was quiet on this day, for in the stillness her thoughts became my own. She told me not to try to dominate her and control her every move, for she is here to teach me to let go and trust nature again. And Jasmine told me that Trixie, my shetland pony, had not forsaken me; she had only done my bidding when that vision of her taking me to the end of the pasture as I screamed in terror came into my mind. “Trixie and you were so connected in that time of quiet. She could only do as your mind had asked.”
A revelation came over me in that stillness. Jasmine was here to teach me, as all dogs are, like all living creatures and nature itself. I looked at her and her eyes softened and her tail raised from its tucked position. Love poured out from me, and Jasmine said to me, “Embrace that love, as that is what the Universe wants you to experience. That stillness abounds within us all if we can only quiet the background to hear.”