Today, I sat on the floor of Gideon's stall, side by side with Petunia piggy, stroking her coarse sparse hairs and singing to her as I tried to regain her trust after her stressful encounter with the nail clippers. The sun was streaming in through the open stall window, the woodchips smelled sweet and the beautiful solid barn interior felt comforting. Petunia and I enjoyed a quiet twenty minutes of alone time, and I felt the stresses drain away from us both. And I couldn't help but smile as I imagined my dad, who passed away almost thirty years ago, looking on indulgently at his youngest daughter finding peace with a piggy on a damp horse stall floor. And although he was not an animal lover, I know he would have approved - because he did believe that each of his children had the right to find their own path to contentment. And I've sure found mine.
But I bet he never thought it would be on a barn floor with a pig for company.