Imagine, if you will, that your lifelong dream has just come true! You’ve been anticipating the Big Day, and it arrives, the dream is born… and you can’t really tell anyone.
Well, you can, technically, but it would just be… rude? Insensitive? Tone deaf?
Whatever adjective you choose, let me just tell you, tooting your own horn, however quietly, makes an oogie, sniggly feeling in the pit of your stomach.
Here’s the thing: My very first book was officially published today, June 8, 2020: “The Elements of Horse Spirit — The Magical Bond Between Humans and Horses.”
“Yay,” I exclaim in a loudish whisper… sort of on the level of a “psssst…”
How are you supposed to celebrate something in times like these? It was one thing when we were just dealing with coronavirus and Murder Hornets, but right now, the only thing on everyone’s radar is the murder of George Floyd, and the broad and wide wake of pain and protest that followed. As well it should be. No other topic should take precedence at this moment because racism is the fabric of this country, and it’s damn well long past time we did something about it.
And yet, other things in life are quietly happening on the sidelines that deserve celebration… graduations, weddings, new babies. And also, lifelong dreams coming true, like finally being able to say, “I am an author!” Sitting at home and writing was literally all I ever really wanted to do, I mean, other than become a country western superstar, and Debbylou Harris I ain’t. But I became an author, finally, the Queen of the Late Bloomers, and my first book is finally here!!!
Shining a light on my milestone in the midst of the larger societal picture sort of feels like standing up in the middle of a funeral and yelling, “I got a pony!!!”
What an asshole.
And yet, I can’t just let the book drift away unnoticed either. I’m sorta supposed to be a partner in making this book a success. My publisher, Llewellyn Worldwide, has even featured me and my book in their inaugural LunaCon author talk week, planned June 12-18, and on Tuesday, June 16, from 10:15-10:45 p.m. (Pacific Time), I will make my very first public debut as a published author! Wow! (Yes, you can attend: sign up for LunaCon here.) I am right in there with so many authors I’ve admired for years, and it’s a little intimidating and I hope I don’t choke, but I’ll do my best to bring my enthusiasm for the healing power of Horse Spirit to all the attendees.
I’m really excited about moving to the “adult table” of the writing world (everything I’ve written prior was on newsprint, and that goes straight into the recycling bin), and had COVID-19 not reconfigured all of our lives indefinitely, I’d be doing book-signings all over the place. I even was all prepared to face my flying fear, because flying around is something real authors do, and despite my dread of flying, I was gonna do it. I even bought new luggage a couple months ago, that didn’t need to be held together with a bungie cord, and here we are — stuck in Ironyland. Faced the fear, got the luggage, have a reason to do it and… not possible. Oh well, the supersized suitcase makes a lovely rack for all my clothes I’m too lazy to hang up and put away.
How can you not chuckle, a little, at my amazingly bad timing: First, not able to do the book signings I’d always imagined and, second, not really feeling wonderful about celebrating my book at all. Oh well, I’ll bumble along as best I can. I presented my predicament to my wonderful Llewellyn editor, Heather, and she sympathized and made a great suggestion: Share something helpful and healing from the book, because everyone needs that right now. Perfect!
This is an extremely condensed version of a tiny bit of what is in my book, but here are a couple things you can do to ease your mind and soul in the midst of the one-two punch of a pandemic and the tides of social unrest that bring change:
~ Consider all the qualities of Horse Spirit: Strength, courage, swiftness, grace, honesty, power, determination, beauty. Gather images of horses, or things associated with horses, wear horse symbols, collect them, and let them serve as prompts… invite the qualities of Horse to come into your life and carry you through whatever is troubling you.
~ Consider spending time with horses, even if you don’t have a lot of experience. You could volunteer at an equine-assisted therapy center, and not only be near some kind, loving horses, but also help some people who really need it. These centers are all over the place, and offer treatment for everything from autism to spinal injuries. Spending time with such big, gentle, spiritual creatures is grounding and nurturing.
If you have access to a horse, spending time with one simply as a companion, just walking and grazing, teaches you to “be here now” — you’ll learn to only focus on what you’re aware of with your five senses in that moment, rather than swirling in your head around all your worries. It’s really okay to take a breather from everything that erodes your serenity for just a little while. Trust me, all your problems and concerns will be right where you left them when you go back home.
So, there are a couple eensy, teensy morsels from my book, in which there is much more detail on these two topics and more, but you can use these two right now. Just find some horses, even online in videos, and watch them. Slow your breathing down… just watch. See if you don’t feel calmer for that little bit of time. Horses are our oldest spiritual allies, They’ve moved humankind forward through the centuries, and they’ll do the same for us now, on a metaphysical level.
I could go on and on about the wonderfulness of horses, but hey — I already did, and it’s in my book, which you can order on Amazon or directly from Llewelleyn right here. If I may be so bold, I’ll venture to say that it might be the kind of book that soothes your soul right about now. And since we’re all stuck at home, you’ll even have time to read it!
“So, yay, today my book was born!” I whisper loudly. I hope you enjoy it. I hope it brings you peace and whimsy and fascination and new ideas. May the Horse be with you!
(Programming note: This book is not appropriate for children, and is Pagan in its perspective.)