I have felt really sure that working at the castle was exactly where God wanted me to be, endorsed by the complete peace I’ve had in my life this summer. My garden has been a constant source of joy, walking brilliant and I’ve made great new friends. Ididn’t miss working for Lewis and I had Rodi to ride when I wanted. Rodi suffers from summer excema and so has to be rugged. So I made sure I went there at least once a week to check, as after all, he is on livery there and Lewis is paid to do the mucking out etc. The owners live in Germany, a lovely family and they had asked me to do this when I was working there. In a way, it was a link to the horses, a vital part of my life like an umbilical cord holding me onto one of the most important things in my life. I’d given horses up once already when I left England, so it was the most beautiful blessing when I began to have them back in my life here.
I havent missed the teaching the kids because working with Lewis was such a nightmare – long hours and seven days a week, even when he was home from hospital. Lewis is 76, grumpy and autocratic. Last year when we were in the UK for a wedding, he fell off TWICE,broke ten ribs and punctured a lung. When I returned it was to run the stables all summer, with him constantly on the phone, no breaks and having to go each evening to the hospital to meet him,cash up and do the next days programme. When I asked for some time off later in September, he asked me why as I was only part-time, in the end I had to get a Doctors note before I could! I worked all winter too, each month asking him how much work was coming in and he always bluffed, and of course he wasnt able to ride or even tighten a girth. I felt just a bit trapped. The financial dip was a disaster for us. Then one day in March, without a word to me , he got back on a horse and began to take rides. So I had half too little work, so I left. Just one thank you would have made it all different…. I had no life last summer, no time with Dave, for walking or even looking after the house and garden, no life at all, I couldn’t face another summer like this.
So Rodi’s owners were recently here and we only met a couple of times, Dave had the car, or I missed them, but I saw them just before they left and all was great. The one of their kids rang and said Gina ( who I’ve ridden with) had asked to look after Rodi as he always dirty standing in the stable. I was so shocked I said yes, no problems. I still can ride him when I want. As I rang off, I felt real guilt that maybe I hadn’t been there enough, but of course when I had been to the stables mid afternoon, often no one was there….maybe once a week was being lazy, but he was fine and clean when I did go. I really hadn’t felt he was neglected. Then it hurt SO much, it’s not logical I know, it’s the best thing for Rodi and great for Gina who needs a horse. I’ve also all along said I didn’t want to be tied to going to the stables so much and I wanted my life back. But it hurts so much, losing that link to the one major theme in my life.
This Saturday we went to a wonderful party with lots of English people who live in this region, it was great meeting new folk and having a chance to share experiences, and just have fun. Then the next day as I was cleaning the loos, it came to me that apart from Austria I had nothing in common with some of these new people, and ordinarily maybe our paths would never cross. I felt a huge wave of almost homesickness for Edith and Rodi’s owners and the stables because I relate to them. Have I after all made a wrong turning in my determination to have time to be at home and go walking in the mountains, be more with Dave? Feeling I’m on the right track has created a sense of enduring peace that also lately makes me feel like a hollow vessel, with nothing inside , nothing interesting or vital inside, just empty. Maybe its just a waiting phase for when the new church begins to be planned in the autumn. If this is what we were called here for, it could be the mist important hing I’ve ever done. I really couldn’t face another summer with Lewis. Or was I meant to really go on with Edith and the horse therapy, was it laziness on my part? What could I do with the state of our finances? Edith has said I’m welcome to ride her horse Luca anytime and I’m overwhelmed by her generosity as I’m now feeling so guilty about letting her down. How much of my actions have been coloured by what is now clear to me as a fear of this awful tiredness?I’m going to see the Doctor as soon as he’s back from holiday, maybe I do need some HRT or something. But most importantly I’m praying for some form of confirmation……………………..