Thursday, September 12, 2013


It’s raining again. Listening to it outside my darkened office window is like getting a deep massage.

We’re settling into a pleasant September routine that includes Callie, our oldest daughter who’s been home for a month now. She rode Sly, the veteran, as we moved the main herd into an adjacent pasture last week. She was alone for much of the day, gathering cattle across Paradise Valley. Alone, but so unlike the alone she feels negotiating the crowds in New York City, where people look at the ground instead of making eye contact.    

When we were done for the day, she said for the first time in a long time she didn't consciously need to calm her brain and try NOT to think; she was naturally at peace. She spent the day moving her horse in tune with the cattle from muscle memory, from her “animal brain not her analytical brain.” For a young woman who’s been struggling to get control of her mind and emotions for years, it’s a welcome relief.

Callie is beautiful and talented . . . and clinically depressed. Finally, after years of trying to deal with it on her own and chasing a “positive attitude,” she reached out for help. She talked to nutritionists and counselors, doctors, family and friends. She researched and discovered undiagnosed hormonal issues. And from this holistic knowledge base, she is addressing her health from all angles including diet, nutritional supplements, a Zoloft prescription, greater focus on relationships, yoga, meditation, and most of all self-care.

Part of her treatment is taking a break from New York City. She’s been doing ranch work, hanging with family, eating from the garden, diving into a painting project, and letting go of expectations. After a couple of weeks of adjustment, she seems back to the Callie we know. Of course there are challenges ahead, but we know she’s turned a corner in her healing.   

Far from the sirens of the city, the quiet of the ranch has been good therapy. She described her ride on Sly as a “deep, deep familiarity,” which comes from her own history being raised on the land with horses and cattle. But perhaps it goes deeper still. To a time when we as a species lived in concert with nature. It’s in her DNA after all. 


  1. Beautifully written and photographed, as usual, Wendy. Callie has a strong core and deep roots that will serve her well.

  2. Beautiful, Wendy. Callie has inherited a lot of strength from her mother which helps her face life realistically! Hang in there!

  3. I was so happy to run into Callie this summer at Carino's. What an exceptional young woman; she was always one of my students who I KNEW had the talents and potential to do anything she wanted to. I love being right;). I have long dealt with similar symptoms and admire her honest, brave approach to finding balance. Tell her hello for me.

  4. This soul's got greatness in her blood and it's plain to see...