“Goofy Mariah” charcoal/watercolor by bev
The other day I decided to do a charcoal sketch of Tal as he stood in his shelter. He’s been having sore feet again lately, more about that in another post, so he is off pasture during the daytime and confined in a spacious paddock area. I set up “shop” with an old barn stool to sit on, put my sketch pad on my lap, and placed a plastic bin filled with assorted charcoal pieces on the ground beside me.
As I got started, Mariah walked in. I haven’t written much about her probably because she lives in another dimension most of the time, a bit beyond me, and is typically very aloof in the conventional sense. Mariah often stays with Tal so he won’t be alone, the one horse who seems especially fond of him and behaves like a big sister. Most often, it is Mariah who stands at the gate to come in the paddock with Tal.
Today, she became a goofball! She walked up to me in the shelter with Tal and put her head almost in my face. So much for a prim and proper horse who honors my space! Thank goodness! (Or there’d be no more story to tell.) She started playfully harassing me, bonking me, grabbing at my hair, and at the charcoal in my hand, trying to snatch my sketch pad away, and making a general nuisance of herself. I was amused by her unusual lighthearted games and began to laugh as I tried to sketch. Giggles continued to bubble up as I continued working. She finally gave me a break while she took a short nap, and I was able to finish.
Synchronicities can be so uncanny with these animals. No sooner than I’d had the thought that I was finished, Mariah was at my elbow again hanging her head over my drawing with her mouth pressed against the paper. She then proceeded to push her lips back and forth, back and forth over the whole drawing as if she were blending the charcoal as she has seen me do many times before (but not with my mouth!). I threw my head back and let the laughter roll through my being and out into the barnyard and around Tal who was standing nearby in front of me. What delight!
This sketch was no human masterpiece to be saved, but now it had all the touches of an equine with a sacred mission. Creating laughter and healing! Mariah had gotten me to lighten up and laugh, and Tal to feel better.
I finally became aware that Tal had not been rocking from one foot to another which he does when his feet hurt, and he did a lot of licking and chewing, a signal that things were feeling good to him. This was all strong feedback that he was comfortable. He had been touched by the amazing gift of laughter that Mariah had initiated as she stepped into her role as divine comedienne.