I’m sitting in a bright hammock in the middle of the Costa Rican rainforest, where I’m living on a self sustaining farm and teaching yoga. It has just now started pouring rain. Today was my first day riding horses, I have only ridden a horse one other time. As Christina and Jeremy saddle me up and begin to lead the tour, I’m blissfully unaware that we are about to enter the wild jungle.
My horse, Pilsen, is about 11 years old, he’s a deep chocolate brown color and supposedly a “kind horse” to those he likes. We begin our ride and immediately reach a flowing river, before which we stop and Christina confirms my suspicions that we will now be crossing. I suck in my fear and off we go. The ride is shaky and a little frightening, but I love my horse and I think he knows that. Halfway down a nice wide trail, Christina and Jeremy notice the water buffaloes upon which ivory white egrets stand. The female has just had a baby, so we turn around into a thin overgrown corridor to walk out to the meadows. The horses won’t budge, they’re completely uninterested in this new pathway. A few slaps later we are off.
Each horse is knee deep in mud, there are huge thick branches that I’m ducking under, twigs, leaves and plants snapping my skin and at my horses body, gigantic waterways pour forth and we pass through them, even my feet get dunked and soaked. At one point, I’m realizing that I’ve been having a conversation with my horse the entire time. Not at all physically, even though that’s what is supposedly, moving our ride along. During our telepathic interlude, he tells me that as long as I allow him to eat his snacks (he had two favorite kinds of leaves) then he will keep me safe. I agree, and we are stopping every few steps so he can snack
While we’re almost at the meadows, the thin jungle corridor suddenly splits off into a parallel pathway, very thin and overgrown. I allow my horse to go into this pathway. Almost instantly I am twisted into thick vines and snapped backwards on my horse. In complete shock, I brace myself for a fall, sliding halfway down the horses left side, I am completely and fully encompassed in unbreakable vines. The horse hears my scream and stops immediately. My guide Jeremy yells at me to fall backwards fully onto the horses back to dislodge my body, but I cannot. One vine is wrapped completely around my left arm and the other is locking my right shoulder in place. My horses ears begin to indicate that she is listening and aware that I am in trouble. She glances back at me hopeful. I am in pain, afraid and completely paralyzed on her and between the vines. My arms feel like they’ve been lashed by hot iron rods. By some moment of grace I realize I can twist my arm back to grab a loose strap on the horses behind and pull my body out a few inches. As I do this I am able to dislodge my left shoulder and free myself.
I begin to bawl. My tears are flowing like a river. Completely pure and blameless. I have fallen deeply in love with my horse. She kept her promise. I write this post to point out the incredibly connected circle of life, where nothing is separate. It is in this oneness and in this connection that the lines of form blur and all things exist together in absolute awareness of each other, in complete and utter harmony, in untouchable grace. Every insect, bug, bull frog, piglet, butterfly and plant here is deeply aware of me and my feelings. Each form of life is connecting with me just as I am connecting with them. They can feel my fear and my sadness, but it is the love in me that dissipates the separateness of our forms and brings us into complete balance and union. I am quiet today. I don’t know how to speak about this.