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.