Holiday Reflection 2020: Get the Grinch to the Barn

Holiday Reflection 2020: Get the Grinch to the Barn

December 18, 2020

Dear Friends,

The holidays are here, and the new year is in plain sight. Many folks can’t wait to turn the page on 2020, and I understand. It’s been a rough time. But this year, as in every year, the holidays offer us an opportunity to reflect and be grateful. I know it sounds peculiar right now—you may not want to look back, and you may not feel at all grateful.

Humor me for a moment while I tell you a story.  

Recently, I was in uncharacteristically grey mood as I mulled over some of the losses of this year.  A barn mate noticed and nudged me back into the light. She said, “Think about it: with so much lost in our lives this year, have you discovered that you cherish certain things even more now? I mean, have the losses of 2020 highlighted what you’re truly grateful for?”

Yes, indeed.

Do you remember when the Grinch took away all of the Whos’ presents and decorations? Everything, except for a crumb, was gone. But, as you will recall, Christmas still came. 

“It came without ribbons, it came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags.”

— The Grinch 

I responded to my friend that health and family are first and foremost on my list of ‘things’ I’m grateful for. To be surrounded by family instead of alone now and during this whole pandemic- I am lucky indeed. My kids are older, so sheltering in place together this year has been an unexpected boon—a real time of bonding that we would never have enjoyed if we were leading life as ‘normal.’

And, of course, I went on, “there are the horses.” Ahh, yes (she knew it was coming.) A lifeline for us equestrians. Horses—and my barn community—are my grounding. Even in easier times, the barn is my sanctuary; this year, it’s even more so.

Yes, my friend, nudged. You’re always full of challenges; now I challenge you to reflect on the treasures you find at the barn and appreciate even more now. “Make a list and meditate on it,” she teased me. 

Maybe Christmas (he thought) doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more.”

— The Grinch

She is so right—the gratitude I have for the horses  and the barn are endless, larger today than ever.

So, I started my barn treasure list…here are a few of the ‘things’ I’m grateful for:

CB’s adorable, loving face, eagerly greeting me from his paddock every day. 
The camaraderie and love of my barn buddies and fellow riders.
Those barn sounds, like the chewing of hay in the evening when everyone is gone or the birds during that early morning ride. 
That feeling of being taken away to another place, just by the very fact of sitting on the back of a horse. 
The view of evening sunsets from the indoor ring.
Nose snuggles, carrot stretches, and watermelon parties with CB. 
That pleasure of a course well navigated or Wing’s floaty extended trot.
The sensation that, when I’m at the barn, nothing else matters.


Funny thing with gratitude. Once you connect to it, you start noticing it everywhere. It multiplies. A grateful state of mind leads to a cascade of appreciation that transforms one’s experience of every moment of every day, no matter how challenging that day is. 

“And what happened, then? Well, in Whoville they say – that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day. And then – the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches, plus two!” 
–How the Grinch Stole Christmas 


Wishing you a peaceful and healthy holiday, and an expansive new year.



To schedule your initial COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATION with Darby, CLICK HERE.

Darby Bonomi
T: +1 (415) 713-4234
Facebook: darbybonomisf

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