The summer is now definitely over, and I know this not because I have noticed a golden leaf on the ground, or felt the cool morning air on my face, but because I haven’t caught my breath since the beginning of September, … and it’s already Thanksgiving (what?!). We are in the midst of a real whirlwind – the absolute chaos of getting kids ready for school in the morning, homework and reading in the evenings, and long hours at work and constant running in between – soccer, hockey, birthday parties, violin lessons; (I also try to sleep a little). It’s a major juggling act with multiple objects (some of them perhaps even sharp, who knows), and I have no idea how other moms do it (please, share your success stories!!!). I am just hoping one of those objects doesn’t hit me on the head and cause some permanent damage.
This kind of schedule, of course, gives me occasional anxiety attacks, causes all sorts of meltdowns, and has given me a chronic eye twitch, but I am now training – training to detach myself from external chaos, and as my yoga instructors say, quickly go to a “savasana” state by remembering a time when I was relaxed. Completely relaxed. Apparently, we can have a memory of that savasana with us, and can train to go to such a state very quickly and stay in it for longer periods of time. (So next time you run into me, and I have a blasé look on my face, remember – I might be just training to relax!)
One of the places I imagine these days when going to my final relaxation place is the Sundance Ranch – a beautiful ranch in Ashcroft, BC, where we escaped for a mini vacation just before all this madness started. It was that vacation I needed after my long European vacation – quiet, peaceful three days of full battery recharge. I look at these pictures now, and it seems so surreal – like an adventure I read about in a novel with not very convincing characters and storylines.
It was pure perfection – a cozy ranch in a remote location surrounded by jaw-dropping landscapes, and hours of riding on beautiful horses and with experienced wranglers. Only a four-hour drive from Vancouver, but so serene and remote, and so well-run, this ranch has made it to the list of rare places that we want to visit again, and again, and again. If you love horses, you need to go and experience it for yourself. And if you’re not sure whether you love horses or not, you still need to go because you will definitely fall in love with both horses and western horseback-riding. I also realized that when you spend hours quietly riding a horse in the morning and then again hours riding in the afternoon, you find your inner peace pretty easily.
This ranch came highly recommended by our friends, and I am so glad we took their advice and joined them. Apart from Aliya, we were all pretty much novice riders, but could ride in the same group with our friends who were more experienced than us. Kenan was still too young to ride (kids can start at the age of seven), but he had tons of fun in the kids club organized for younger family members. We were introduced to horses that matched our skill-level and temperament, and those horses took such good care of us.
So, this Thanksgiving weekend, I would like to remind myself to slow down, remember what I’m grateful for, and incorporate more peaceful moments reminiscent of Sundance into my crazy life. Because Thanksgiving is a perfect time to do so…