It is 10 PM. I’m at the barn across the road from the western waters, letting my old guy out of his eating paddock for the night. The sky has a soft glow as it awaits the moon to crest the hill behind us. I walk into the pasture where the other five horses are scattered, some sleeping, some eating.
Shaman Tal is sprawled on the ground peacefully and I can hear him snoring. He is feeling safe and free of discomfort for these moments of blissful sleep. Goose bumps dart through my body like a giggle, and tickle my stomach for the joy of it. I stop to merge with the feelings as my eyes mist and my lips smile in spontaneity. I linger as unusually warm November air laps at my face.
Finally I move further across the pasture, and Kaheka who is being very affectionate these days stretches his head in my direction and gives me five kisses with his soft, silky muzzle. Then Apolinaire, the wise old-one, offers me one rare kiss and scolds me when I ask for more.
Higher in the pasture, in the dim night light I can see the long expanse of horizon where ocean meets sky. I notice how quiet the waters are tonight with only a playful splashing from somewhere in the distance. This is my new home. I had never thought I could replace the beauty of my former, but it has been equaled if not surpassed. Welcome, my soul.
Nowadays I take my lunch break in my car. I get into the car, close the door, and lean back in the seat. I close my eyes and relax my whole body for a moment before opening the lunch pail and begin eating. I read gently while munching a sandwich and baby carrots, vegetating on what I’m reading and what I’m eating.
On those (numerous) wet and rainy days, I stop frequently and lean my head back with eyes closed and just listen to the rain on the car roof. It takes me back to those rainy summer days when I’d lay in the hay maw in the barn and listen to the rain on the tin roof. . . Ahh! Those gentle, gentle, times.
When I’m behind the camera lens I experience a perfect meditative peace. My trifling, every day thoughts fade and I become quietly aware. I notice things I would normally walk past without a second glance. As I discover an entire universe inside the velvet petals of a flower, Time slows and then stops. I see poetry in the pattern of foam an ocean wave leaves behind in the sand. I am startled by the eloquence in a jigsaw of discarded cigarette butts in the Safeway parking lot.
Taking photographs is my happiness and calm. It both energizes and soothes me. Before I know it the whole gritty chaos of the world becomes heartbreakingly beautiful.
In a world that seems out of control, I find it inspiring to hear about moments of perfect peace experienced by others, those ordinary moments in life that become spiritual. Those moments we almost miss if we aren’t paying attention.
The horses have taught me to linger with that moment, to stretch it out just a bit longer, staying with it effortlessly… just like Tal in his peacefulness above. The more we get the knack of it, something that horses do so easily, the more quickly we recognize those times as they come. Then, we can embrace them and gradually make them our dwelling place.
These memories and feelings actually change our heart rhythms and can affect those who are physically near us. And in the spiritual realm the effects are much more far reaching. Though I am not one to wait for science to catch up, in this case, there is supportive evidence to the physical and emotional benefits for ourselves and those who are close by when we experience the feelings from a cherished memory or moment. (The Heartmath Solution by Doc Childre and Howard Martin)
I look forward to hearing and sharing your moments of perfect peace.
A friend responds:
What a beautiful offering…and so very seriously needed. Just reading your message gives me a breath of peace in the midst of all the tumultuous energy that’s been running through. Thank you……………………
I just had a moment of perfect peace…when I was out in the rainstorm walking my dog, Cosmo, with my partner and other dog, Koda, trailing behind. I saw a tree to my right that looked full of magical blossoms. I got up right under the tree and the blossoms were actually tiny rain drops hanging from the branches. I thought I knew what I was seeing, but the reality was so much better and more perfect than what I thought I was seeing.