A Strange Thing happened today at the Beach
I leave for New York tomorrow, to surprise my dear old friend Beverly Riley, whom we met in Singapore when Joshua was 10 years old, and have been friends ever since. Joshua lived with her and her family during his gap year, they have visited us in Australia, and our friendship is one of great respect and love. My beloved made this trip possible. Last Sunday, on our wedding anniversary, I received a group email from Debra, her daughter, advising they were giving their Mom a surprise party for her 75th. Gerald said, do you want to go? I said, no way, its too far, too expensive, and too soon. He looked unconvinced, and said we would think about it in the morning. He asked again at breakfast, and said we could book it via frequent flyers, and that my diary had nothing urgent in it. Within two hours, this amazing man had not only booked a return flight, but organised my medical insurance and applied for my visa.
So today, despite the steady rain, I decided that Cino and I would have our regular walk on the beach today as I wont be here for two weeks to walk her. I wore my Nepali shower proof pants and light jacket, Cino wore her thick fur. She took off like a greyhound down the long deserted beach. Clearly, the weekend with Rebecca and the kids had not dampened her energy at all - and she almost disappeared in the grey mist.
It felt surreal, walking alone in the rain, unable to see much, especially after our busy Australia Day weekend when the beach was crowded with visitors and kids and fishermen and surfers and dogs and umbrellas. I was thinking about the weather in New York as I walked through steadily increasing rain - three friends have texted me today asking if I had heard the weather reports for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut - wild blizzards and plummeting temperatures, flights cancelled and people advised not to travel outdoors unless in an emergency. Are you still going, they asked. Should I go, I thought. (I have a great fear of the cold.) So as I often do, when faced with a dilemma, I asked my Mom and Dad, and all my guardian angels and God, to guide me, to show me a sign. And I plodded on.
We came to our normal turn around to go back point, and I noticed a dark figure walking through the rain towards me. It was large, and I realised it was a horse - without a rider, which seemed very strange. People do exercise their horses on this beach a lot, but I have never seen a horse on its own. It seemed to be coming to ME, quite determinedly. Cino barked and it stopped, uncertain - and then continued towards me. Cino barked again, and it turned back. I kept walking and it once more began to follow me, so I put the dog on the lead, and the three of us continued back towards the Surf Club. Half way there, a fisherman appeared out of the mist, and I asked if he could help, telling him I had called my husband to contact the vet and hopefully find someone to come and get the horse - where was the owner? - had there been an accident? I walked ahead with Cino on the lead as I didn't want the horse kicking her - and the horse followed, now a bit confused - should he follow me, or stay with the fisherman? The fisherman gesticulated "Follow her!" with his arms, and the horse did. I was anxious for someone to arrive and rescue the horse, as I was wet through and cold, my fingertips painfully white, so I rang Gerald to come get Cino, and I would stay with the horse, who was trotting behind me. When I looked back, I saw a dark shape heading up the sand dunes - was it two? - and then it disappeared, along the path towards the golf club.
I turned back but Cino, now off the lead, was charging in the opposite direction, so I followed her, and finally there was Gerald's figure heading towards me calling out to Cino. Where is the horse, says Gerald, somewhat disbelievingly. Disappeared, I said.
Back home now, and thawed out after a hot shower, and thinking about what happened. A lone horse, on a deserted beach, following me in the pouring rain. Was this the sign I asked for? A warning, perhaps? Don't wander too far from home and get lost in the cold and rain?
I posted the photos I took of the horse on Face Book hoping someone will identify him. And I shall call the vet and see if somebody did rescue the horse.
I don't believe events happen randomly. And I can already hear my son guffawing at my 'woo-woo-ness'.
A Strange Thing Happened today at the Beach.