Months before Stephanie asked us if we could come over to take care of their ranch and animals for a while, I had this reoccurring dream. It was always very vivid, always the same and it happened almost every night for at least 4 months.
In this dream, I was sitting in the passengers seat or in the back seat of a car (like a big truck) with my husband, driving across the interstate near the town where we used to live. This is always how the dream started. Then - in my dream - I would somehow realize that I was in California again and asked my husband (since we're already here) if we could go and visit Walter. On the way, I would just peacefully and gratefully gaze out the window to take it all in: the beauty of California that I find in palmtrees and big mountains.
The dream always ended the same way: I woke up right before we arrived at the rescue to see Walter. It was pretty hard for me not to feel disheartened because of course I missed him and the very first place I ever dared to call home. I had a lot of talks with my dear friend about keeping my head high and my hopes up, because I also knew that there was more to this. It wasn’t just a dream. And the way everything unfolded right after, making the reoccurring dream stop, made me believe in that even more.
The facts that even in my dream I already knew my husband would be there and that Walter wasn't the main reason for us being back in California again (our visit to Freedom Ranch was) were just surreal to me. But I am grateful. Grateful for this opportunity, which I feel like has been a chance or test to see if this is really what I want. If I still find it worthy to fight for.
And I can wholeheartedly say that this dream, this vacation, this opportunity has only ignited my fire even more.
Zoë van Mourik: Equine Trauma Specialist, Behaviorist