I watched with my husband a herd of wild horses. Two separate mothers nursed one baby colt. One father, the stallion, watched over his herd. He also knew when to let them just be. The two females loved on each other, they also loved on their baby. One mare loved on the stallion. They greeted each other individually and also ran together as a team. We watched them take turns walking across a creek and then running up a hill. The baby bit the dad, the baby bit the mom. Sometimes babies do! The baby was just being overly playful. Eventually one of the mares rested her head on the baby in a way that somehow told the baby, “ ok that is enough of that.” They were a family.
The park ranger told us that a new horse had joined the wild horses. She was not part of the herd and no one knew where she had come from but she was welcomed. She was loved. My husband and I have seen this herd a number of times now, watching them all interact, the baby grow, the new mare integrated completely like she’s always been part of the family. Watching them I couldn’t see one particular horse in charge. The stallion did, at one point when a human got too close, guide them all away and across the water. Other than that, they each watched out for each other. They each respected each other. No one got left behind as they changed positions or directions. At different times a mare would walk off by herself or the baby would do the same. Each had their alone time and their bonding time.
Tonight I reflected on the behavior and love of this family of horses we watched. Their devotion. I thought about the men in my life. My “herd.” To clarify the difference in tribe and herd: I’ve been chastised by some asshole on wordpress for using the word “tribe.” I will still use tribe as I consider the survivors of abuse who have come together to support each other a tribe of our own. We have a wordpress tribe! Tribe has many definitions and I love the tribe of survivors here! I am proud to be a part of a tribe of survivors. My tribe has given me some sisters. When I say herd I mean root family. My father was far from part of our herd. He was a cowardly pathetic follower. The man had no balls. He was just some piece of shit that some how got my mother pregnant and he paid the bills. He didn’t protect. He didn’t guide. He was rarely present. He walked away at the quickest opportunity he could. Abandoned his herd. He never looked back. Their was no stallion in my original family, their is no doubt about that. It was painfully clear as I looked at this herd of horses, I grew up with no herd. No MAN. No guardian. My mom should have had a stallion and then maybe she would have known how to unconditionally love her herd. My mom should have had another mare that knew the truth, then maybe that little baby, me, could have had something of a herd. But no. Our family was no herd.
The only stallion I’ve ever experienced in my herd is my husband. My new herd. I was accepted into a new herd. By my husband, a true stallion in every way. He protects us, he respects us, he honors us, he cherishes us, he guides us, and his love is unwavering. He also happens to have ripped muscles just like the horse stallion. Muscles that have carried me down to the oceans edge and held me when I was having a seizure. His love for his daughter and me, our love, is just like the horse family. We are a few short in our herd. I wish their was another mare for my daughter. I wish their were another baby. But for now our herd is the three of us.
So, here is to my herd, my stallion, and my tribe. May we go forward as best we can in the love most of us had to find on our own because we were not born into it.
*currently accepting applications for new additions to my tribe and herd.😊