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I Am Here – A Horse, A Date and Finding My Center

By Maggie Marangione April 23, 2023 Mindset

Recently, I fell off the wagon – the dating wagon – when I went on the most centered dates of divine oneness. That is saying a lot. I can only describe it in relation to a dream I had just a week or so before our meeting.

Dream On

First, my dreams are usually a bit intense. Occasionally I dream of dating Viggo Mortenson, but that has not happened in a while. In my recent dream I was naked and embraced by Shiva, the male divine who joins with Shakti, the goddess in divine oneness – a place that knows no bounds but is a place of peace and nirvana.

I believe it’s what Christ experiences with his followers, especially when they’re born again. I am in you, you are in Me.

In my dream, Shiva said something to me like, You are my soul. And then I woke up, my dog whining to be let out, and I opened the door for him and stumbled to my coffee pot, a bit dazed and confused. Yet, I knew this dream was a good thing; a blessing.

Divine oneness is when you are in the flow, and time and ego evaporate. You are your purest self – your soul self – you know, before BAD THINGS happened. I have often experienced this in the woods, laughing with my daughter, riding my horses, meditating, paddling a river, writing and teaching and when eating homemade vanilla ice cream.

Leap of Faith

Recently, I bought myself a nice horse, and when I first rode him, I cried. I have ridden good horses, which I did not own because I could not afford them; crappy horses because I could afford them but were very special ed, and everything in between.

At 60, I retired my 23-year-old arthritic horse, who I threatened to sell at least once a week because of his shenanigans. I debated retiring him because… I could still ride him, and he was still a pain in the neck. He was still willing and often eager – too eager, but he was showing signs of mentally being done. Sort of like a partner that nods uhuh without listening to what you are saying.

I began casting an eye outward. With my health issues, I know I am in for my last hurrah and that if I was going to ride and show one last time I better do it NOW. I looked for a year – and believe me, I am not that picky when it comes to horses, OR men, but it appears I may have changed.

Divine Oneness

The long and short of it resembled the story of goldilocks and the three bears. These horses were not a great fit, and I was ready for great. I am looking for the same in a partner – so-so, goodish is no longer going to work for me.

So, when I rode Mo, and I was completely at ease, felt comfortable and experienced divine oneness with him, I cried. I did not know this could happen. My New York skepticism made me try him six more times, and I cried each time and finally bought him and after 60 years of living, I can say he is one of the best choices of my life.

Then, when I met a man who made me feel the same way, my hair stood on end – sort of. After a few conversations, I do know that our first date made me feel like I was with Shiva. I was able to be the most myself that I ever have been with a man and that is saying a lot. WE were present with each other and we shared the same spiritual belief system that is grounded in Sikhism.

I tried to tell my daughter that even if I never see him again, my life has been enriched by this encounter with him because I felt my heart open in oneness, and I saw myself in the light and beauty. No longer defined by my traumas, I was a vessel, not a chalice to be filled, but already filled and shining.

And Finally, Peace

Simply put, living a peaceful life of mindfulness, self-awareness and doing my best on a day to day level to forgive, acknowledge and cut lose my attachments to the material world has paid off in my sense of love and peace. I have not seen this man again, and I am so neutral it is scary. Like my dream of Shiva, he was Shiva incarnate and like a dream, that date was all.

My love is just a reminder: find your center. Be present with me. That evening of my date, I experienced his love, divine love, which allowed me to reflect on my beautiful soul. My horse does the same. And at daybreak, when the world is still blue and a lone bird ventures forth its call, I am called home.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Where do you find your center and inner peace? Whose love is a reminder of who you are? What decisions have you made that are based on loving yourself completely?

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Self love is key to happiness and your article is a joyful reminder – thank you!


beautiful story. Beautiful WRITING!


This was exactly what I needed to read today and I am overjoyed that your story didn’t end with ” I finally found my soulmate( human) and we are happily bah, blah, blah😂. I feel the same after dogs and have gone inward and spent the last 22 months reflecting about being alone ( my soul dog passed ). I love my company ! I am no longer going to try and make excuses for men that are just so-so and have fatal flaws with flashing red lights😳😂. At 70 I am NOT compromising💗👍🎊🐾🐾


How is the 23 year old horse doing? Do you still have him? I hope so and that he can rest and retire. Glad you found Mo. Your spiritual awakening is inspiring especially since it involves your horse and nature and finding your true home within.


I rescued two horses. One was a show horse with arthritis–20 years old and the other was a retired cow horse. Loved them both! I knew nothing about horses but they were patient and gracious. Best thing I did and the granddaughters? True love.

Loved your article.


I really like your sense of humour

The Author

Margaret S. Marangione is a Professor of writing at the University of Virginia and Blue Ridge Community College. Her novel, Across the Blue Ridge Mountains, has been submitted for the Pen Faulkner award. Additionally, her short stories, essays and poetry have been published in Appalachian Journal, The Upper New Review, Lumina Journal, Enchanted Living and Sagewoman magazine.

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