There are 1000’s if not more definitions and schools of thought on what is a ‘connection’,what makes up a deep connection etc.
Here at Acres we receive the gift of connection personally and professionally every day. Weare wrapped in a blanket of connection, or as I refer to it quite often, the ‘Acres Bubble’.
As you drive onto the property it can be felt…a sense of peace, calmness, safety, acceptance and belonging…We see and hear each other – humans, furry and feathery team mates and allthe beauty that surrounds us here.
Here is a story from two weeks ago about connection that specifically involves the two equine team members that passed, Chance and Abijah.
Since we knew about Chance’s upcoming departure we were able to experience and hear the deep connection that existed between our team, Acres Clients and Chance’s fellow herd mates over the two week period that preceded. It was bittersweet as stories were shared, tears shed and words of appreciation for all he meant to people where spoken. A beautiful demonstration of what embodies connection occurred on Chance’s final day.
As we entered the pasture Chance was standing with his herd mates Rebel and Ozzie near the shed. They were near him, but both were eating, minding their own business and doing their own thing. We placed the halter on Chance and started to walk towards the gate headed towards the vet. At that moment both Rebel and Ozzie lifted their heads and began walking slowly, heads low, behind Chance in what felt like a tributary walk of connection.
As we paused at the gate, as we do, we asked Rebel and Ozzie if they wanted to join us as we continued toward where the veterinarians were waiting. Rebel and Ozzie both indicated that they did want to join us and we haltered and followed Chance. There was no trying to eat the grass or stopping along the way for Rebel and Ozzie they walked with their friend Chance and joined Acres human team members who had joined for this last act of responsibility we promise each furry and feathery team member that joins us here at Acres. Ozzie stood and observed, Rebel shifted his hooves and seemed to need to keep moving as the procedure took place. It was a beautiful sight to see humans and horses holding space for their friend Chance as he took his final breath.
Another story of connection. On the day before saying goodbye to Chance, our amazing human team noticed that Abijah was not ‘acting like herself’. That day was spent going through our health care protocol for possible colic and veterinary evaluation as her health continued to decline. We made comfortable space in a stall in the barn for Abijah where the veterinarian team and Acres team could continue to care for her throughout the day running blood tests and other procedures that carried into Friday where this mysterious illness had a hold on her.
While we all were experiencing connection, working together on this common goal, her herdmates were also demonstrating connection. Promise throughout the time Abijah was away from her herd in the stall would call out to her and at times Abijah would return her call. Sometimes connection shows up even when we’re not able to return it’s call…connection is still there. The knowing that you’re not alone, you are part of something bigger and you are missed.
A powerful example of connection happened on Saturday morning when the decision had been made based on the declining test results and the matching decline in Abijah’s physical well being. As we awaited the veterinarians arrival we decided to take Abijah out of the stallinto the fresh air that she loved so much.
She slowly walked toward her pasture and stood on the outside of the fence. One of our Acres teammates observed that the pasture was empty as the gate to the adjoining pastures were open. Abijah’s herd mates were ‘out in the far back’. Discussion about should we go get them and bring them up to Abijah occurred and the decision to trust the horses, trust their connection to be exactly where they need to be was made.
About 30 minutes passed as additional Acres team members arrived and we held space for goodbyes and thank yous. We began to feel the ground move and then heard the thundering of hooves that continued to build and as we looked toward the sound we witnessed connection. Abijah’s three herd mates came galloping through the gate through the pasture and stopped just on the other side of the fence next to Abijah. Her eyes engaged, ears perked toward them and all their noses touched. Connection just at the right time. Three minutes later the veterinarian arrived.
Abijah was held in the strong web of connection that is Acres, human, animal and nature, as she took her final breath.