Crumpled in a heap, spent, nothing left. Heaving sobs in the glow of the moonlight, interrupted by an explosive exhale. Kastani has come to investigate the crumpled human folded to the ground just outside his paddock. His calm presence draws me closer, peeling myself off the ground, moving inside the paddock to perch on the edge of the water tank.
He doesn’t come any closer, he doesn’t even look at me. Now I’m aware of how tight my shoulders are, how tired I am, and I hear him sigh as I let go of the tension. How masterfully he has me dropping out of my mental anguish and into my body. Shaking as the stress and grief pass through.
Kastani doesn’t move a muscle. So still and quiet, standing strong a few feet away. No sympathy here. No judgement. Just his quiet presence.
As my body and mind settle, I am aware he is asking me to pay attention. I look intently at his face, seeking a message there. Nothing. Scanning the rest of his body I notice his belly expanding as he inhales audibly. Long, slow exhale. Pause. Huge, big belly breath. Over and over.
“Just breathe.” He says in his wise way.
Matching his inhale, expanding my belly, breathing into my chest, my back, my sides. Matching his exhale, slow, and complete. Pause. Spontaneous full, nourishing inhale. Standing near each other in the moonlight we breathe together for some time. Quiet, deeply peaceful, breathing in steady rhythm until I am just as calm and relaxed as he is.
Sometimes life throws so many challenges our way it’s easy to forget this simple thing that makes all the difference. Just keep breathing. And no matter how hard it gets you can always find a friend to remind you how.
For those of you who are also struggling I share Kastani’s moonlight gift.
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