After two years of looking, a wonderful long term home for Square Pegs found us. As with many things in life, the answers turn up in unexpected places. I struggled with the decision to leave the beautiful flowered Purisima Canyon with our lovely neighbors and the sweet little red barn that has housed so many memorable moments. I worried that I would dearly miss the purple African Daisys and the neighbor’s manicured white fences, the redwood grove and the sound of Purisima Creek. I looked long and hard into my heart. I asked anyone who had a moment what they thought that Square Pegs needed most.
I put all this information together and presented it to our Board of Directors. With the trust that the board has always afforded me, they told me that they reccomended a move, but that the ultimate decision lay with me.
I needed room to think. I needed time and space away from the daily needs of the barn. One of our board members offered Chris and I their place at Tahoe for a couple of days. We packed our skis and headed up the mountain. The house had a lovely view of Lake Tahoe and the winter snows delivered a fresh blanket of white for me to stare out at from the warmth of the home. I thought, I wrote, I read. In the silence of the snowstorm I listened hard to what my heart and mind were telling me; “Go, be brave, make the change, the time cannot be better.” Then I listened harder and knew that the only way this would work is if I made the move the effort of the entire community at Square Pegs. I knew that it would take hundreds, possibly thousands of man hours to pick up and re-establish ourselves as a stronger, closer and more effective community.
With resolve I came back to the coast and prepared the biggest, boldest move that Square Pegs has ever undertaken. With 16 horses, 6 barn cats, the goats, an 11 ton grain silo and more tack and equipment than you could shake several sticks at, I called a staff meeting and started with a list.
The rest now is mostly history. We are getting settled into our new space. We have stalls to build, boxes to unpack, things to organize and re-organize. We have horses to feed, waterers to fill, holes to dig, weeds to pull. We are exhausted and exhilarated. The horses are happier than ever before. Just like the wildflowers that spring up on the hill behind our barn, we are stretching out in new and colorful directions with new growth and new hope with a stormy winter behind us.
We have made new friends and forged new alliances for which we are very proud. The days are longer and the winter rains have given away to spring showers and warm sunshine.
What we have learned is that community is everything. That Square Pegs is all about participation on whichever level works for the individual. We couldn’t have pulled off the move without the people who came out in the rain storms and helped us trailer horses, mend fences, scrub the old clubhouse, drive the tractors, groom the horses, answer the phone, reorganize the office files, keep the bookkeeping on track, pick hooves, clean stalls, walk sick horses, deliver lunch. The legal help, the pats on the back and the encouragement. The list is endless of what this community was able to accomplish. The donations that were sent in saved us from financial ruin while the February rains pounded us and made lessons impossible. All of it made the difference.
The Parks Family has invited us not only to their barn and their business, but into their hearts and home as well. When they bought Canyon Creek Equestrian Center, (formerly Serendipity Stables) they had a dream of a family friendly place for people to enjoy their horses. We hope to help make that dream come true for them as they host our program and help us turn “I wish” into “I can.”