As I drive over the desert landscape of Nevada, through the rocky canyons of Arizona, and into the snowy mountain of Utah, I find myself feeling anxious anticipation and fear of future loneliness. I am perplexed by this sudden and random anxiety. I can’t pinpoint or explain why I am experiencing these fearful thoughts… I’m driving to this roundup with my great friend, feel very supported by the ones I love, and have a good sense of community in my life, and yet, I am consumed by the fear of loneliness and loss of community. I don’t understand where this worry coming from or why I am feeling this fear, but it seems to be all I can think about.
I fear losing my place in this world… losing my sense of belonging and sense of home… I fear disconnect from my friends… the feeling of being forgotten… I fear facing this world alone… having no one… I fear loneliness… I fear the loss of those I love…
but I don’t know why I am feeling all of this worry right at this moment. I was perfectly fine only hours ago.
I don’t know where this sudden rush of fear has come from, but it weighs very heavy on my mind and squeezes deep in my chest. I start reaching out to those I love. I’m texting and calling people I care about, desperate to hold on tight.
Why this sudden anticipation of loss? I try to let it go and focus on the journey ahead instead.
I’m sitting in the car looking into the black sky, thinking about what we will experience the next few days, anticipating the struggles both horse and human alike will endure. When all of the sudden the obvious correlation between this fear of loss & loneliness and the events of tomorrow smacks me in the face. The relation between the two hits me hard and realization sinks in deep; these fears of mine will become reality tomorrow for the horses of the Cedar Mountain herd. Their lives will change indefinitely when they are rounded up and taken from their family bands forever.
Tomorrow, these horses will lose their communities… they will lose their connections to the only families they’ve ever known.
Friends that have grown up together will run side by side for the very last time.
Families as close as any will be severed.
Loved ones will be ripped apart in one swift experience of panic and fear.
This herd – this community – these horses will never be the same.
All of these fears I am experiencing inside myself are the reality of the Cedar Mountain Herd horses tomorrow… as a result of this roundup, these horses will experience trauma like nothing they’ve ever known.
In the days and years to come, separated from those they love, many of these horses will endure suffering and heartbreak.
I feel for these horses. I feel for these families. I feel deeply for this herd.