There has always been something amazing about conversations at picnic tables in my life. Maybe it is the raw and rought construction, something so simple holding some of the most profound discussions of my life. More likely it is the places in which you find these tables. In little oases of city parks, off the sides of trails, out in the open air beside grazing horses. It is as though these little wonders have found their way to ther magical places of the world, waiting for people to come to them, sit and discover the world around them from a new angle. I sat at one of those tables today with Jocelyn Ring, and had another of the great conversations of my life, an amazing connection in an amazing location, Rein and Shine in Awendaw, South Carolina.
This part of South Carolina is beautiful, open spaces bordered by lush and beautiful trees. The horses graze in the field by our table, and storm clouds spent the entire time looming overhead, winds blowing wildly, and yet the clouds never open up their fury, they just want us to know they are there. Jocelyn is a marvel, a vibrant and brilliant mind, a heart full of purpose and passion, sitting across from me in a ball cap. She comes out here on Monday nights to feed the horses, to recharge her spirit with the magic they embody.
To hear her talk of horses is to hear someone talk of miracles. These magnificent animals have been a huge part of her life. She tells me about how intuitive they are, about how they can sense changes and shifts in people, how they perceive without any sense of language, all intuition. Horses have a bond with people going back thousands of years, a bond giving them an intimate connection to us, a strong connection between two species, born of instinct and heart. She speaks of horses as I speak of storytelling. In her voice and words there is a gentle fire and it raises goosebumps on my arm. When I talk of storytelling and my purpose with it, she gets the same. It is a sign of connection, of recognition, an amazing moment that is as fleeting as the wind and as powerful.
Jocelyn has an incredible story leading her through work on Wall Street, to horse purchases in Germany, down into Florida and eventually to Charleston. It is a story of finding purpose, something that is very important to her. For both of us, a purpose is what makes a life of joy. It is what drives us forward and leads us to something greater. For her it is communication and relationships, including the facilitations she does with these amazing animals behind us. She speaks passionately about how important it is for us all to find our purpose, the thing which we truly want to do, and to reach for it even when we fear. She has done this same thing more than once, journeying on an adventure of a life.
I tell Jocelyn about my journey, about becoming the man I was always meant to be, not becoming a different one. She tells me that discovery of ourselves is a reductive process, like sculpting in marble. You take a piece here and a piece there, taking away the things that don't matter and discovering the true form underneath. It is like she can see the process exactly. it is that way because she has done the same thing.
The most amazing thing happens as we talk, maybe the most incredible thing that has happened during this story up to now. As we converse the entire herd of horses moves into the field by the table, coming closer as they graze, forming a semi-circle by us. It is a powerful acknowledgement of the truth we are speaking, of the power of purpose and our ability to choose hope over fear. One horse even makes a sound of acknowledgement to the side. It is a really powerful moment that hangs in my mind and my heart as I write this. These magnificent animals, drawn in, serving as a powerful affirmation that this is absolutely the right path. it is truly breathtaking, as spectacular and spiritual an experience as I have ever had in 38 years on this planet.
The sun sets and darkness settles in as we swap stories. We talk of triumph over tragedy, of shaping our future, of choosing where we draw our strength, of smiles and cries. As the night settles in and we begin to part, I feel as though I have been fully replenished. I have sat and heard great wisdom and powerful stories. These amazing horses have spoken to me as well. I don't have Jocelyn's history with them, but you don't need to have it to feel the power of this moment. I greedily wish for more time, and I am sure I will find it, but today was about more than purpose and intuition, more than dreams and drive. Today was about the magic of horses, Jocelyn knows about it and she shared it with me, it is a unique treasure, one of those you set in your heart and hold onto forever.
Favorite Dinosaur: Pteordactyl
Why: They can fly