I’m sitting on the porch at our airbnb looking at a huge red rocky mountain in front of me. Our airbnb is a small guest house on a property that has two beautiful black horses and breathtaking views. Initially I was a bit worried about Kaya being near horses. Two years ago in West Virginia she bolted after the neighbor’s horses, and was swiftly kicked in the neck as she jumped up to bite the butt of one of the horses. I was curious to see if she’s learned, and thankfully she has! She’s keeping her distance from these horses but is very alert to their neighing and grunting.
This morning we woke up early and took Kaya on a little walk around our place. All the neighboring properties are horse ranches and I kept remembering my cousin Idean singing Old Town Road at our engagement party when the circuit blew and the music went out. Shahriar laughed at me when I asked whether these people ride their horses to the grocery store...I would enjoy doing that if had a horse.
When we got back to our house I let Kaya out in this small fenced area behind our place. She ran to the edge of the fence and scared away a lurking coyote! Our airbnb manual has also warned us about rattlesnakes - so much wildlife!
By eight in the morning we were hiking Cathedral Rock trail - a recommendation from our friend Negeen. It was an amazing hike that included a lot of fun scrambling up the rocks. I think it’s one of the best hikes I’ve ever done! Similar to Galisteo, the vibe here is very still and meditative - although the wildlife is keeping Kaya on her leash. Regarding the reflection question from my last post, I was grateful when my aunts shared their perspectives with me. One aunt suggested that our leashes are “our socially constructed and reinforced egos,” and that they are much harder to unleash that a dog’s leash. The other aunt suggested that our leashes are our fears - our fears of being judged, not being accepted, and of the unknown. Both of their responses resonate with me - unleashing is a process and a choice that can be made in every moment.
In a couple hours we’re going with our Airbnb host, who happens to be a wedding photographer, for an engagement photo shoot! Hopefully, we’ll get the pictures soon and I’ll share them here. Love -Shadi