Thursday, November 6, 2008

The geese were circling in small groups, feeding in from all directions this morning as I fed the horses. They would land in the corn field behind us, and more groups would fly in. Then, these cackling, calling birds, took off again, in ever larger groups, disappearing only to return shortly later. More groups arriving to join the cacaphony (and we wonder why the dog insists on running back to the corn field!)

They will be taking off soon for the winter. Their engines are reving up. They will fly up, circle to draw all their kind with them and head southwest over the Taconics. The world will be less alive in their absence.

With the world in financial turmoil, and an unknown man as our new President elect, we are kept grounded by the animals who go about their days as always - eating wandering, sleeping, playing, offering soft muzzles, peaceful eyes, comfort and purrs. They have the capacity to snap us out of our worrying, for moments at a time, to allow us to find a brief respite in their in-the-moment existences. We try not to think the worst, that the time may come when we can no longer offer them the comfort they so freely give us. But, they are our family, as much so as our children and grandchildren, siblings and friends.

We are struck by the confluence of events in the larger world, how those awake in us a spinning coin sided by fear and fight. We will fight for our home, our animals, our family and our country. We will fight the despair that sometimes tries to find the weaknesses in our resolve.

Being proactive in the world is a new experience for us. We are finding that it is affecting all phases of our days, giving us confidence to face the unknown, the optimism that we will come through this a stronger, better and more compassionate person.

Being proactive is a trick taught to us by our horses, Boo in particular, who, while mellowed, still enjoys challenging us with a particular look, testing our will. We smile back at her, sometimes laughing, and move her feet. She complies, content that the status quo remains, and that she can relax. Rusty leads the three, but he shares the watch duty with Boo. Dime is happy to follow their lead and protection, puppy-like. He is able to retain his silliness and essentially dependent character, his ears perked, his cataract eyes youthful.

This is the lesson we spent our adulthood relearning. The fearlessness and joy of being one with our horses that blessed us as a youngster became hidden behind the trappings of adult responsibilities and concerns. When our centaur mentality disappeared, we had to find our seat through thought before it became feel and muscle memory. Where we felt we had to control every muscle of both horse and ourselves, we learned to let go, thereby finding that euphoric and magical place where equine/human were one on all levels. Our thought became the horse's action, an instant response to our brainwaves. Kind of like bending spoons by sheer will.... or tipping tables, which we have actually done!

Sometimes the will, the thought, is not available, perhaps supressed by the concerns forced on us by circumstance. But, then, the fear creeps back in, the need to control, the loss of feel, and we are faced with perservering, moving beyond the stopping point into a freer place once again.

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