There’s a Gap in My Life

Chester and Vera

Reflections from Vera, a CORRAL champion and volunteer of 7 years

They say you don’t know what you have until it’s missing.  Covid-19 has recently put CORRAL volunteers on pause, away from the farm. As a CORRAL volunteer for more than 7 years, I found great joy every week in coming to the farm for chores, events, feeding horses with another volunteer who has become one of my dearest friends, and grooming my beloved horse, Ruth.

Now, for the first time in all those years, I must keep distance away from the farm, for the good of the community and CORRAL. In spite of the necessary distance, I have not forgotten the horses, volunteer friends, staff, girls and farm – far from it, they have become even more dear to my heart

What I miss

There’s a gap in my life right now – I can’t see the happy trots of the herd when they know breakfast is on the way. The early morning fog, sunrises, and nickers of those nearest the barn, watching us prepare their meals, is a only a sweet memory, for the time being. I miss it, even more when I see pictures posted of fence repairs from Rick, CORRAL’s delightful facilities manager, or of Spot the goat running circles around Starbuck, the mustang, or playfully rearing up on his hind legs to head-bump Rick’s fist. Those posts are a very real comfort, setting my mind on the way things were for volunteers, the way things need to be again.  Many volunteers, sheltering-in-place, are brainstorming ways we can stay connected and help others, especially those we have come to know and love in the past routines of our daily lives. 

What can we do?

What can we do to sweeten the gap time?  CORRAL volunteers are finding creative ways to connect to the farm with love and care even from a distance. We communicate by Whatsapp, text or Zoom.  We continue to let people know about the cause and give opportunities for others to donate; nonprofits are especially vulnerable to this downturn. CORRAL rescues both girls and horses; without it, this would not be just a temporary gap of my beloved routine, it would be a hole that hurts our whole community.  The sweetest moments of this intense time is watching how people reach out and give; I have seen even those with little share what they have. It’s humbling and motivating.     

I also have the great privilege of praying with a team of volunteers and staff, for specific ongoing CORRAL need. There is a great power in prayer. It connects us to heaven, and places on earth where we cannot be. It draws us closer to the Lord of comfort, provision and healing. I’m a believer – not because it “works for me”, but because it’s true. The news that was broadcasted first by a few women at a tomb was tested by their contemporaries, by scholars throughout the centuries; the evidence was tried, and found true.  It is remembered every year, in this month, even 2000 years later.  So, yes, I pray, and I trust, for CORRAL to one day soon be not just a sweet memory, but a new and ongoing reality.  The gap I feel today, missing the gaze of a special horse or smell of the barn, hopefully will one day be just a distant reflection.

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The CORRAL Riding Academy is a non-profit group operating out of Cary, North Carolina dedicated to bettering the lives of troubled teens and rescued horses.

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