What to Write

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[Editing issues: I apologize for the lack of paragraph separation in this published post. The edited page shows it correctly but I can’t get it to transfer to the published page.]

What to write. So much going on, so much not going on. “Put on business mind, not art mind,” he said. I try and it doesn’t work. My Guidance says again and again, “Do your art. Write.” When I do, good things happen, but it is scarey, and I’m easily distracted doing other things that seem equally important. Then I forget until things go bad again.

The horses are in heaven in their new pasture. I am too when I go there to care for them. This place has made the difference between heaven and hell. Sometimes I still linger in hell, but when I am with the horses on a day like today and yesterday, I could stay forever. FOREVER!
I sketch. I feel. I tell myself I’m not good at it. The horses remind me that is not what it is about. It is about connecting with the horses, and with life, at levels unaware as well as levels aware. It is about healing.
Mariah today, faster than I can grasp, took off across the new and open pasture. Freedom. Space. Comfort. Solid ground. No more deep mud. Pure pleasure. Release. Free of restriction. She throws her head to the sky and her tail juts out from her rear like a fancy tent before cascading below and away into the wind. So light on her feet, a buck, a kick out, so effortlessly, a beautiful prance, then off again flinging her head, loving the feeling of her body.
Kaheka, thoroughbred off the race track, wasn’t a winner, but a beauty for sure. “Masculine Beauty,” a friend endearingly calls him. Today he sprinted across the pasture. Body low, front legs and back legs stretched out, in my mind’s memory from hoof to hoof to the max, parallel to the ground. He flies. He flies like a jet. No! Jets fly like him. His kind came first. He effortlessly flies. I feel the power of his rear engines, and his determination to conquer with his body.
Mariah dances. She rises up into the sky in perpendicular fullness; Kaheka is compressed low, stretched from head to toe. Speed, both of them. He, racing straightaway across the distance; she pirouettes, and spirals in the clouds. He, an arrow from a bow. She, a graceful deer catching the currents both wild and tamed.
They are both in me. Awakening. Flying. Dancing.
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“On the Run” quick charcoal sketch

A Simple Nudge That Turns My Day Around

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Dollar: a view that caught my eye one day. I love the flowing lines around muscle, and the warmth of his coat in the sunshine.
As I returned home after a Thanksgiving trip to join my son and his family for the holiday, I was feeling depressed that I hadn’t found a place to move the horses yet. As I entered the pasture area, Dollar, the head guy here, came up to me and quietly pressed his warm and soft muzzle into the back of my hand and held it there. It was the most alive, and soothing kiss I’ve ever received and brought me quickly out of my depression. He reminded me of the world of love beyond the material.
He’s so human sometimes. That’s not necessarily a compliment for him except for the fact that he knows how to speak my language.
Tonight, I had another brief moment with him. I’d had a troublesome human to human conversation and had lost my spiritual connection. Dollar sauntered by and gently nudged me on my leg, and as he continued moving past me, turned his head back to look at me and check my response. His equine gesture felt like a reassuring human squeeze that said , “Stay cool. You’re okay.”
The acknowledgments from this sentient being are remarkable. They often come as a surprise to me when I’m too consumed by my own “stuff” to even acknowledge him. Walking past him with my eyes glazed over, he snaps me back to awareness in such a gentle way with his nudges. He draws me deep into the heart of love, and turns my day around.
For those of you who would like to participate in the wellbeing of these 5 rescue horses, and support their healing work, https://www.gofundme.com/kaheka2016

Equine Kissing Game

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Dollar has been creating a lot of playful fun for me these days. He use to be rather aloof and withdrawn, and seemed simply the “money man,” in reference to his name and the $ brand he came with. I would communicate with him mostly regarding that topic. Lately, however, since he’s become the new leader here when Apolinaire died, he has been actively involved in significant and amazing  therapeutic work with clients and myself. In addition to that, he is also revealing his light hearted side.

I’ve discovered he understands what I’m saying without my teaching him with an action and reward system. It’s been one of his closely held secrets! The playful part is kissing. When I spontaneously asked him for a kiss one day without any expectation, he responded immediately by presssing his muzzle ever so softly against my face. Such a heavenly feeling…the warmth of his gentle muzzle nicely scented with horsey breath fresh from the earth; and the serendipity of the horse and human interaction.

Kissing has now become a common occurrence with Dollar and me. If he doesn’t feel like it, he will stand stoney faced with no acknowledgement. Sometimes though, he’ll look at me with almost human eyes and say, “Naw, I don’t think so.”  I giggle and that’s when I ask if I can kiss him. Instantly like a statue coming alive, he’ll turn his cheek or forehead to me or some other part of his face, or nod his head, “yes.”

Such fun playing his equine kissing game! It brings to me memories of childhood delights and a reminder that the earth is God’s playground. We get to experience the joys of the physical realm while our souls are dancing in unseen worlds.

I Held His Tear in the Palm of My Hand

 

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There is a magical passageway that lies between the pastures. Dollar was standing sleepy-eyed in the heart of it.  The air there is moist and cool from the shade of a small tree that hangs over the path shrouded by bushes lining the opposite side. There is a feeling of seclusion and secrecy.

I joined him there to do some bodywork along his back where he had suffered an injury years ago. By the time I got to him, he was already in a deep, contented sleep with head lowered. I quietly hovered my hands over his mane in reiki fashion, my own rendition that I discovered with my first horse.

Dollar continued to drop his head lower and lower, his bottom lip sagging, mouth softly quivering, and occasionally licking and chewing. These are all signs of relaxation, release, and good feelings in an equine. My playful goal has always been to get his head as close to the ground as possible in a full surrender to peaceful relaxation. I’m still trying.

When Dollar awakened and lifted his head, I noticed something in the corner of his eye that appeared to be a little bit of mucous. Instinctively I wiped it away with my finger, and when I looked, a droplet of water ran down down the tip of my finger. I watched it trickle all the way down until it came to rest in the palm of my hand. It was a tear. I held it there as tears filled my own eyes. There was a purity in this moment. The tear itself was clean and clear. I looked at Dollar, searched his eyes for clues, and wondered. There was no recognition from him, no connection it seemed with the tear.

I stopped my analytical mind from stirring up tohubohu as I started to take a microscopic view of all the possible reasons for this tear. Instead, Dollar and I stayed in the quiet of the moment. I continued to hold one hand over his mane. It was a relief to let go of my need to analyze and the work of trying to understand.

Dollar and I stood close as he pressed his head into my body. Then he nuzzled his way into my cupped hand where he placed his soft, warm muzzle, and held it there for a long time as he dreamed. All the while I was being taken on a Spirit-guided journey into the depths of my soul. It was a magical time together, both of us in a trance-like state.

When he awakened again, our time of interaction was complete. We both stretched and flexed our muscles merging our spirits with earthly consciousness.

With it came a memory.

I was taken back in time to Apolinaire, my first horse and spiritual guide, who was dying. When he took his last breath and relaxed into a peaceful smile, he opened his beautiful eyes for the last time and gentle tears fell from the corner. [In Life, In Beauty, and In Death]

Six months later I stand beside Dollar immersed in the emotion of the memory. I suddenly understood whose tear had been tucked in the corner of Dollar’s eye, the tear that found its way to my palm. I understood that Apolinaire had come to me this day through Dollar.

The three of us had communed in that world-between-the-worlds while standing in the passageway between the pastures. Dollar dreamed, and I listened to secret mysteries being whispered to my heart. Apolinaire had visited, Dollar had allowed, and I was being tranformed. The tear of grief that I held in the palm of my hand became tears of healing and empowerment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Candle is Burning

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Tonight I’m wanting to cozily curl up and write about me. I want to go inward with myself. So while the weather outside is nasty, inside there is heat; and warm foods are cooking on the stove. The horses have all been fed. Henii, my airedale mix, is on her perch which is up one step from where I am sitting. She is drying out as she slumbers with one eye open. I just ladled myself some hot red lentil soup, a spoonful of brown rice still steaming, and a touch of mayonnaise to make it creamy. I’m tucked in lovely tonight. The lights are dim, a candle is burning. I shall write.

Glory is His Name

“Alleluia, the age-old expression of gratitude in communion, opens us to agape love, the recognition of our connection with all beings. To join together with other creatures in a song of joy moves us to experience the sacred in even the most mundane phenomena, transporting us from a self-centered way of being to a state in which we embrace, and are embraced by, all and everything. …”
-From Horses and the Mystical Path*

His name is Glory. He is a thoroughbred off the race track, the color of mouth watering chocolate accented with the roundest, darkest, and syrupy eyes I’ve ever seen,… When I first met him, he came boldly up to meet me, put his head over his stall gate and in my face. I was intrigued. No shyness with this guy. A leader type I surmised, of humans if not also of his own kind.

After exchanging cordial greetings and conversation with his owner, I turned my attention back to Glory. In a moment of spontaneous inspiration and surprise, I thanked him for sacrificing his spacious pasture for my 6 horses who couldn’t find a home elsewhere. It had been “no room in the inn” for them until the very last minute when Glory gave up his pasture.

At the time, I had not known that notes had been put up at local feed stores offering to give my 6 horses away for free with a telephone number I recognized. It would have been reckless and illegal for that person to have followed through on the act, and in violating the law could have been prosecuted, but that would not have brought the horses back had they been given away without my knowing. Glory’s act helped save their lives.

As I thanked him, he simultaneously moved his head away and to the side and held it there in a shy but powerful gesture. He seemed to be expressing not only humility but appreciation for being acknowledged. It was an electrifying moment. Both his owner and I felt it and looked at each other bright-eyed and speechless. Unknowingly we had touched in with his spirit.

Glory was being acknowledged for the mystical being that he is, and for his work in the unseen world to make sure these horses who have an important destiny to fulfill were protected and safe. It was then that a veil lifted for me illuminating a revelation. I saw with new eyes the behind-the-scenes mystical networking Glory and Apolinaire, the lead horse, and his herd were engaging for a mutual and eternal cause. These are hidden secrets that resonate with the heart not the mind and are whispered to us often times in fairy tales, classic allegories such as the C.S. Lewis Narnia books, movies that feed our souls, etc.. These are stories that pluck the chords within that lie dormant and dusty, awakening a familiar song of transcendence.

From the conventional perspective, it was the humans that figured out the logistics to make room for Apolinaire’s herd, but from the mystical perspective, much more was going on than we had understood at the time. We humans often think a good idea is ours while not perceiving that it has been given to us. In this case, I was given a heartwarming glimpse that the horses were orchestrating changes so the herd had a safe place where they, including Glory, could do their work. We merely carried out their directives! And for a higher cause that perhaps has not been recognized by the human understanding.

Often, when I inform Apolinaire, or ask for his permission to make some changes with his herd, I hear in response, “Where do you think the idea came from anyway?” I can only shake my head and chuckle…and happily immerse myself more fully in the mystical way of living for the sheer delight of it. This was the first time, however, that I encountered the networking with horses who had not physically met each other. It brought together the many snippets of “knowing” I had received through the years, like a group of puzzle pieces that suddenly fit into place. The barricades around my human understanding crumbled as I got a view of the eternal purpose that was operating with these sentient beings.

We humans though talented and gifted as we are, often forget or are most likely oblivious to all the conversations and maneuvers going on in the unseen world around us and we often naively lay claim to ideas that we think were our own. What we can lay claim to when we grab an idea is that we were attuned to the mystical realm and were able to pick up the nuances and the creative solutions that are constantly flowing our way. I am not one to totally invalidate the importance of humans in this process nor to ignore our own inspired contributions. We are each a uniquely designed spiritual being. However, I think we often err on the side of negating all that nature and in this case, what the equine world is bringing to us. It is time for us to become more attune to our spiritual instincts. We are all intricately connected. Not recognizing that does not make it less true.

Seeing the interactions of Glory and my herd are gentle reminders of the space between the worlds that science has barely explored. Glory responded when he was acknowledged and thanked for his heroic deed that could so easily have gone unnoticed in our conventional way of thinking. That exhilarating but sobering moment when we naively tapped into Glory’s spirit, opened the door once again to viewing things more expansively, more mystically. The exchange between human and horse and all of nature awakens us to life beyond the physical realm and its impact on us whether we realize it or not. Thank you, Glory, for being a courageous horse for sharing your gift of safe pastures for Apolinaire’s herd and for sharing a secret of other worlds with your human friends as we are learning to cross over conventional boundaries that we have created.

“…We shift from mere words to a prayerful expression of exultation, a chant of gratitude, if you will, resonating throughout eternity, crossing language, time culture, and even species barriers.”

*Two-part quote above is from Horses and the Mystical Path by Adele von Rust McCormick, PH.D., Arlena Deborah McCormick, PH.D., Thomas E. McCormick, M.D.

Pasture Music

I carefully maneuver the car to the pasture gate to unload a couple of bales of hay for my six horses. Opening the door, the coolness of the coastal air greets me and becomes my titillating hostess for the evening. Its crispness teases at the cheeks and tingles in the nostrils, inviting a familiar autumn-time nostalgia, a lighthearted feeling of laughter and happy voices. It brings hope of good things just around the corner.

Reflecting the clean sharpness of the air, the sounds that normally fade into the background become strikingly bold, untempered by sight and thought. I become mesmerized by the clunking of feed buckets hitting together as I walk, the swish-swooshing of a water trough running over before I can get to it, the rattling of pellets as I pour them into their hard containers, and the rumble of the hay cart as its worn metal wheels scrape across the packed gravel road.

Filled with youthful exhilaration, I’m surrounded by sound that is bewitched. It has become a wild musical symphony formed from the ordinary, amazingly alive, and delightful to the depths of the soul.