Dreams on Horseback


I’ve been having repeated dreams lately. They’ve all been different places and different moments…but essentially the same. I’m on horseback, looking from the perspective of my body. I can see the saddle horn, hear the leather squeaking, swat at flys trying to bite my horses ears. I have either been on an overo paint, or on a big chestnut (both quarter horses??? not sure). And I’m just riding. One time I was hot and sweating. Another time it was fall, leaves were falling, and I was wearing an oversized sweater.
Regardless of the locale, the thing I remember the most is that I really felt at peace. I felt a calmness. Something I haven’t been feeling during the day-to-day.
I talked with a coworker today who said that people had been filing complaints with the district regarding how much work they have expected of us this past month. Guess I’m not the only teacher who’s stressed. I had to have a sub in my class today because I had to go to an equity workshop. Didn’t learn anything new. I mean, yeah, you can always pick up morsels of stuff here and there, but nothing that’s going to really impact the way I teach. Anyway, I just wish that I could do what I’m paid to do — teach — and stop going to these trainings and meetings and classes and junk. I guess the bigwigs in the government who sign the bills that require us to take all of these classes think it will help education somehow if we all fill out too much paperwork and take too many classes. A little is helpful. But there comes a point when you just stress out and tire your teachers and they are too stressed and tired to teach effectively.
Anyway, I started feeling chest pains today and it worries me. I don’t think I’ve ever been this stressed in my life. Yes, even more stressed than when I had Art classes with Stew Luckman. (Some of you just jolted back from your computer screens in shock and may have injured yourselves…yes, I feel more stressed than classes with Stew). I mean, then, I just had the classes. I had a support system of friends and family to keep me sane. Now, I have students and parents and administration and extra classes and piles of ungraded papers and a husband who wants me to have energy left for him and lonliness (I miss MN) and no horse to take the stress away. No horse to take me away from the world and its worries and the expectations. To remind me of what wind feels like in my hair. To remind me of what fresh air feels like in my lungs. To show me a landscape and a sunset that brings me straight to heaven. To remind me of what it means to be Stephanie. Then take me back home so I can be Stephanie, a child of God who is not judged by her teaching effectiveness or her abilities as a wife. Stephanie, who is covered in a grace more profound than the human mind can imagine. And the good thing about the ride is that it returns me as a stronger and better Stephanie than I was before.
But, where is my horse? It has been in my dreams, but I want it to be in my life. I want it to be real.