My five day trip to Colorado was extremely busy but so so amazing! Rosemary and Micaela put on an amazing presentation venue for our Movement Method presentation and the folks who joined were passionate and inspiring ‘mountain movers’ raising my hope that we can actually make a difference up there.
My family and dogs did not want me to leave, but not even three weeks ago, I took a 48-hour trip back from Colorado to Bangkok. I was blessed to be able to spend Liam’s 19th birthday at Monarch cabins skiing and snowmobiling only to relax with my family in the hot tub to talk until the number of stars quadrupled and clearly stated how late at night it was.
The journey back was long, but nothing unusual, and I was able to go straight back to business as usual, only to spend about a week before Thailand followed so many other countries with social restriction and canceling gatherings. We were still fine at Farm de Lek, having to cancel lessons and sessions, however, there is always horse training and work on a farm, so life strangely went on as normal with the extra blessing of time to work intensely on improving riders and horses.
My family was safe, and I felt confident I could ride it out. The difficult part is when you are navigating a crisis situation that is starting to escalate without a strong support network of friends and family and without being able to communicate in the native language. They are lovely lovely people in Thailand and very supportive, however, when the embassy sent out a warning that ‘if you do not get out you might be on your own in emergency situation indefinite’, that really shook my confidence. My strongest support net of patient friends who ignore my attempts to push them away to not be hurting missing them too much, helped with calls and endless texts, riding out my moodiness and silent treatments only to cheer me up with photos and messages of pure care and love.
However, when the Thai government announced the cancellation of all flights to Europe and the expectation with US flights to follow soon, I decided it was time to leave and move to a place where I could at least handle my own affairs if things got worse.
With heavy heart, I left my team, beautiful horses, and a place of healing behind and took the journey back to Colorado.
Eery is the only fitting word to describe my journey. These days there are many stories and sensationalism, scary reports and made up regulations…BANGKOK ON LOCKDOWN with health checkpoints along the highway- well, they stopped us once, looked at our ‘lovely’ faces and decided obviously we were too ‘nice looking to have the virus’…and let us go without any further checks. The airport, the next hurdle, was tougher- only one door available to get in with strict temperature control for all- only problem, the guy who checked me pointed the thermometer at the lower part of my t-shirt, him being half asleep, obviously having worked long hours- believe it or not, I was fever-free- lol- received my purple dot sticker and was good to go. Japan Ana airline, the only one still getting us connecting flights to Tokyo to get to the US. 99% of folks wearing masks, with some folks in full rain ponchos- open at the bottom, and taking the protective mask of to speak to the clerks- am I missing something here? ;-) I did keep my social distancing, but I also kept CDC advisories on mind not to use masks unless you suspect to be sick, so the ones who actually need it have access to it…plus I have a son in the studies of microbiology and he explained to me the effects of masks- so unless it is the law and I am not sick, I refuse to wear one for now. Interesting fact, about 80% of folks took off their masks the moment they were seated in the airplane- yeah wow, talk about follow-through ;-)
The airport was almost empty except for the long lines for the last few flights to leave. Many flights canceled without notice- scary really- and makes you realize the freedom of moving and traveling we all enjoyed so oblivious and mostly without an appreciation for the possibilities- well, that certainly changed.
Seats were marked how to keep social distance, and because of that one could listen in on conversations. It was lovely to hear people connect through this suffering. Yes, a lot of things going on, but people shared and supported each other- was it just because of the distance that I noticed people connecting more, or had it always been this way? I doubt it. There is something about a crisis that connects us- it’s human commonalities in suffering- as strange as it is, but it seems to bring us closer together even with social distancing- what a paradox!
Back at Farm de Lek, the family of the owner decided to stay and self- quarantine at the farm, so we had the teens and the staff and we made the best of our time providing Horse Boy 1 and 2 boot camp training. It was one of the best trainings because we had such high quality trained horses that we each worked three to four horses a day and got extra practice with all the skills.
A the same time, Spunky, our little friend from a Bangkok orphanage joined us and started a new life at the farm. He fell in love with Montana our Thai pony and both of them are learning about each other as they go. Good things still happening- and will continue to do so.
Saying goodbye is the hardest thing to do. I have had too much of it! My family and dogs get sad when they see me go, my team at Farm de Lek has to fill the gap I left, and my biggest heartbreak, Clue, will start a new happy life with the best person possible in California.
I guess we have a choice, we can hurt and suffer, or we can move on, finish chapters, and try to forget, appreciate, and disconnect.
My life has been very black and white lately, hardly any grey zones, which makes it incredibly difficult and absolutely stunningly amazing. Trying to appreciate the consistent strong-hearted friends and family, the beautiful sunsets, the moments that just take your breath away like the construction and beauty weaver birds present- breathtaking- alive!
In these days of uncertainty, I wish you to find the stunning moments that surround you, the strength you can gain through loved ones, the spirit to focus on positives and move forward.
Keep in touch, because that is what keeps a lot of us going- love your family and friends unconditionally- no virus or circumstance can take that choice away! Choose your battles wisely!