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Horse Camping and Marriage

May 19, 2010

I’m heading out for my first horse camping trip of the season tomorrow to  Henry Coe State Park.  It is vast wild place where you can ride 20 miles a day and not see another person.  It is easy to get lost in that world, despite the sprawling civilization that is a mere hour’s drive from the park’s entrance.  Camping and riding there is like having a delicious slice of life lived from my heart as a woman independent of my family members.  This state of being is really a contradiction in concepts, since my woman heart is inextricably bound to my husband and children.  Yet, it is true in a way that both confuses and liberates me.  Outside of cell phone range, on horseback miles from a possible connection, I throw hope to the wind and count on it to take care of the ones that I love.  When I return to the world of cell phone reception, I check with some trepidation, hoping that I wasn’t needed for some dire situation.  

Feeling a mixed bag of joy and fear that has been seasoned with a sprinkling of guilt, the teenager in me lunges for the brass ring of independence and I load up Utah in the trailer, hop in the truck cab, adjust my side mirrors and drive off into adventure.  What makes it even better though, is that I am not a teen that is sneaking off to grab a chance to find myself.  I am a grown woman who has the blessing of her husband to go off and do my horse thing.  What does this bring to our lives?  Reciprocal offerings.  When Tim goes off to the mountains in a blizzard to stay in the camper with our little dog and hike out solo to find his powder lines, I think of him having that same kind of experience that I do 

photo by Scott Cannatelli

when I am in the backcountry.  Yes, I worry some, but don’t we have the personal right to make our choices about going out into the world?  It is called freedom.  And, when he goes off to compete with his outrigger canoe team, I know that he will return to me with a deeper heart. 

So here I go, off into the backcountry for several days of nourishing independent Julie.  But, as I finish this post, I know that I am not really going off alone, because my family is in my being, loving me from the inside out,  as I do them. 

photo by Scott Cannatelli

photo by Scott Cannatelli

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