I was watching the sun light fade and night fall around us in the stable yard tonight… thinking about those “in between” times and spaces and ideas. Instead of just being black or white, the gray areas of dusk and dawn; of the beach between the hills and the sea; of life and what we call death. All of these are not just transitions, but places in their own right with a reality to be experienced, certainly, if not savored.
I also see the value of the dynamic approaches of horsemanship styles. And the multiple ways in which good health is preserved by natural methods. Those in between places serve to blend ideas and make useful all manner of things we might miss with a rigid mind-set. I love using Australian saddles for my riding lessons and I tell students that they are like a combination between western and english styles.
My Mother used to say she put sugar in her tea to make it sweet and lemon to make it sour, but the combination was better than either. The in between places are of blending and easing from one thing to another. The in between places are where we can linger, experiencing that gentle shift.
From this life to the next life is an in between place where I think elderly beings visit and sometimes linger when deep in sleep or daydreaming. Spring eases us into summer; autumn eases us into winter.
If we are going to climb to 14,000 feet, we linger at 8,000, then 10,000 feet, making an in between place to adjust to the altitude.
So, I wonder why we would expect such immediate, total obedience from an animal, a person or ourselves when faced with a change or a task? Depending upon the degree of the shift and how much change is required, there needs to be an in between place where the transition can flow with grace. When that cannot happen and a sudden or violent shift occurs, it is shocking and that shock will need to be addressed one way or another later on.
Being decisive is powerful. Being decisive is clear and planned and directed. It can be immediate in its application from the space of transitioning, but cannot act like the cracking end of a whip that then ricochets aimlessly. The in between place holds the form of the concept, decision or path and allows its unfolding without interruption or distortion. It may only hold it for a moment or it may hold the form for years.
My Mother likes limes and mint in her tea now. I ride and school horses in bitless bridles. We leave giant Yuccas in our turn out (that also serves as an arena) because we like Yuccas (and riding a circle around a giant “cactus” will sure keep a rider from leaning inward!) and the area becomes a kind of transition place between the round pen and riding out on the trail. An in between place…
We kind of “ride between worlds” at Dharmahorse – taking what we find the best from many styles and methodologies in horsemanship and in healing. And we help horses and people shift gently from place to place; idea to idea. The world is full of possibilities.