Saturday, November 12, 2011

Rites of Passage

When I was 16, there came a knock at my door one school night from a girl who was a year older or maybe two, a former friend from whom I’d been separated on the cusp of childhood and adolescence by the jagged break between elementary school and junior high. After that, we lost touch, even though she lived just around the corner from me.
She had been working in the stables of the farm at the edge of our neighborhood because she loved animals and wanted to become a vet. On this night, one of the horses was giving birth, and she came on foot to bring me to see. It was one of those beautiful moments in life that occurs wholly by a response to grace. We had not spoken in five years, yet she thought of coming to get me.
We walked briskly through the night air, over the darkened streets and across the main road, through the fence and up the dirt path to the barn in which this horse was in labor. For hours we stood at the edge of her stall as the foal emerged from the womb of its mother, legs first. And then, we watched as those legs labored to stand, each one giving out in its turn at the effort, the foal crumbling to the hay again and again. 
I am reminded this cold autumn night of that foal’s struggle to be born and to stand on those frail tenuous legs, bearing resemblance to my own passage to new life, this moment that is unfolding over the course of days and weeks in which I attempt to stand again and again… pushing a bit harder and further, each time undertaking something more, mindfully watching for my knees to give way, my legs to buckle, yet remaining steadfast in pressing onward.  
Photo: Courtesy of Shahim Al Nakeeb

1 comment:

  1. A lovely post: very evocative. Hope all is well with you, Sandra.
    Much love