If you were to ask her, my mom would tell you that when our nanny, MaryAnne, (Man-Ann as my sister and I would call her until we could get that darn "ry" sound right) first introduced us to her horses, that it was similar to watching at child gaze upon a celestial being. We immediately fell in absolute LOVE and awe with these majestic animals; one that even the test of time would ultimately surpass.
|The Black Friesian: A Girl Can Dream : )|
I can't tell you how many times we would literally beg our beloved nanny to visit that barn, and eventually we found ourselves in the saddle - english riders in the making.
At the barn one morning, I was thrust on top of a spunky thoroughbred, named Siran, with nothing but a knitted hat my grandmother had made me. Usually we would wear a riding helmet whenever we climbed on the back of a horse, but this day was different.
Maryanne had fitted the horse with a lunge line - which is basically a long rope that is attached on one end to the horses' bridle, and the other end, held securely by my nanny. It enabled the horse to walk around in wide circles with Maryanne standing at its' center.
Before this event, I had only ridden ponies before, and was thrilled (and a little intimidated) to be on such a huge animal, so we decided that a slow walk was the only gait I would be riding at that day.
To an onlooker, this probably would have been quite the boring scene had it not been in fate's hand that on this particular day, MaryAnne's husband, Dick (Lol - aptly named : ) had also been at the barn and decided to not only drive his enormous truck up the sandy path next to the pasture we were in, but to also honk his VERY LOUD horn a couple times, just in case we hadn't realized he was there. (Sigh...the stupidity of some people...)
Well, as you can imagine, the sound gave Siran quite the start, and he immediately started bucking and rearing, and tried to shoot off into a gallop while Maryanne desperately did everything in her power to calm him down. I tried to hold on as long as I could, but being an eight year old, unskilled rider got the best of me, and with one last buck of persistence I went flying through the air.
I remember landing on my side, and turning onto my back completely stunned. Suddenly, I felt a sharp, swift blow to the head and everything went black.
It was only when I was being carried into the car that I awakened, took one look in the mirror and realized I was had been trampled. It was truly an awful sight, both my eyes started to form black rings around them, and even the whites of my eyes started looking blood red. I also happened to have a huge crater of bloody hoof-print on my forehead from where I was hit, and believe me, it was not pretty.
At first I wasn't in any pain at all, just numb, but as the time went by, I started to feel just how badly I was injured. For some reason, I found myself being mad at "God" over the whole thing, and as only an eight year old would do, started to believe He owed me for this. Lol - I even decided that I should be granted a wish for it!
Now, during this time period, my favorite movie had been, "The Man From Snowy River" (It's an old horse movie - of course it was my favorite!) and as I lay on the MRI table, I silently asked god to make a sequel to my favorite movie, so that I may watch it one day. (Hey - at the time, I considered this to be a very BIG and important deal!)
Later on that evening, I was released from the hospital, and headed back to MaryAnne's house to rest. What I could not have known was that while I was being treated, Dick, must have felt some kind of remorse for causing such a perilous situation, and went to the store to pick up some movies and popcorn for us to watch once we came home.
I'll never forget two things about the moment I saw him again back at the house. First was the look of undying guilt and utter shame he held in his eyes, a look the drained any anger I had felt towards him about the situation. The second was the title of the movie he handed me in hopes of forgiveness. Not believing what I was seeing, I remember reading the title of the movie again, just in case I was hallucinating, but no, what I held in my hands was definitely something I could not have known had already been made. Unbelievably, it was the movie I had wished for, a movie called, "Return to Snowy River"...
The effect this experience had on me as an adult, is one that I think is quite understandable. Not only do I NOT believe in coincidences, but I even believe in the idea of "signs" as a way to help guide me on my path. Don't get me wrong, I never look for them, but am always observant when they appear. Hey - the last time I checked, there IS NO manual or instructions out there as to the purpose of one's life, and following signs, to me, has become more or less of a subtle guide, a way of letting me know I'm on the right path; doing the right thing. And for me, the "sign" I'm referring to just so happens to be the number 22.
It first started to appear when I was in high school, and I didn't take much stock in it as it was more of an affection than anything. It had been my first love's birthday, and the number he always wore in football. In the beginning, the number just reminded me of him, and therefore made me happy.
|Walkabout 22 Adirondack Trip 1999|
(From Left) Amanda, Hannah, Mary and Me
It was the first time I felt like a part of a community; the first time I ever felt empowered, like I was able to do something that mattered in this world. And - I took this experience as a sign...How could I not, after all - we were the 22nd group to ever experience "Walkabout", and therefore we were known as Walkabout 22.
|Had to keep it!!|
There are actually many more circumstances that I've had where this favorite number of mine has popped up, but I think you kinda got the idea, right?
I would say that the point of telling you about this story is this: Having Lyme Disease is one Scary "Mother" of an Illness to go through, and I tend to enlist all and any help I can get! Oddly enough, that "help" often includes following serendipitous acts and signs (Lol - especially when I see my Lucky number 22!) that I now know better not to dismiss. At every turn, and in every progress I've made on my journey has most likely been the result of persuing some seemingly unconnected coincidence. So let me ask you this, and I think it will be the only time I won't be referring to astrology when I ask it, but - What's your sign??
Lots of Love,
You KNOW I just had to put a tiny bit of humor into all this...LOL.