“Feel Good Sunday” takes on a special flavor for me, today, because I am home with family and friends after yet another month of globetrotting half way across the world in an effort to provide for those who I leave behind when I travel. And as luck would have it I will be able to share Thanksgiving at our southeast Texas ranch with our equine family as well; for this I am doubly thankful as my spirit needs to be recharged in the manner that only close contact with our equine children can accomplish.
So in preparation to set my mind right and to seek out an appropriate story to share I spent some quality, private time in the barn with the boys, this morning, so that my head would be re-calibrated; and as I listened to the soft munching of hay and gentle nickers swirling around me it became clear that I should share a story I had written several years ago, of just such a moment, a point in time that is easy to re-create and to draw upon when living with horses. With that realization I will set my jet lagged mind free and share with you a story of a like experience pulled from the pages of our book, Straight from the Horses Heart, and go back out to enjoy the company of the characters of said book minus/plus one. Enjoy and keep the faith, may the Force of the Horse® be with you.” ~ R.T.
I’ve been gone for several weeks, on the road, doing human things and attempting to meet the demands of others’ needs. In traveling about we are surrounded and assailed by all that is human: the machines, the noise, the people, and the unnatural mechanical noise that gnaws at the brain just underneath your consciousness. It wears one out and deflates the soul, leaving only emptiness. So, I welcome coming home.
Although the commotion does not cease, by being here I can steal several moments of quiet and reflection with the horses and attempt to bring the universe back into balance. In fact, as I write, the sun is just pushing up over the tree line in the northeast and its rays are setting afire the low mist that has drifted into our pastures from the cornfields. I can actually sit here and see the silhouettes of five large backs, bodies hidden by the mist, slowly moving in the east pasture. They look like the smooth backs of a pod of Pilot whales, gently swimming through a channel to the sea. Occasionally, a head surfaces as if to both take in air and to check out what is happening in the world above, and then back to grazing, drifting, in the mist of the early dawn. Just seeing this and sharing it has pumped some life back into my spirit.
Last night, after our houseguests were off to their quarters and gently asleep and Terry had been zoned out for quite sometime, I quietly slipped out of the house and jumped the pasture fence. I wanted a moment alone with the guys and, true to form, all grazing ceased. Heads were raised in momentary alarm, but a few quite whispers from me put them back at ease and the five of them returned to grazing. Actually, they returned with even more gusto than before, as the rule is that they can relax their guard when I am in the pasture. I will take over guard duty and they can then devote 100% of their time to eating.
I have learned not to force thought, idea, or suggestions upon them at times like this. In the dark, it is best to go from one to one; gently stroking and scratching and occasionally reaching down to tear off some grass as if I am grazing, too. This seems to relax them further. Once they were comfortable with me grazing amongst them, I listened; I closed my eyes, leaned up against Ethan, and turned off my mind.
I was both shocked and pleased with what I heard as this is no story of words of wisdom coming from my equine companions; instead, it is a note on happiness. As I stood there, I could hear humming: a distant but stirring tune being hummed by those around me and perhaps overtones from others far away. No words, no verse, no refrain, just a spiritually soft stream of gentle and contented humming that touched my heart. Although no words were apparent, the meaning was clear. It was clear enough even for an aging human to discern. The humming was a song of hope; of happy things to come; a tune of love and outreach; and most of all, a song of forgiveness.
I pressed my ear against Ethan’s hairy shoulder to try to hear if I could detect his voice resonating in those great lungs, but I could not. The distant song was not being heard by my ears, but by my heart. Its clarity and texture was similar to the sound of a train, late at night, miles away, gently sounding its horn to all that will listen in the dead of night.
Making sure not to disturb their grazing, I walked to each one and gave them a hug. I then headed towards the fence, the house, and the sleeping humans who had no idea that a chorus was being sung only several feet away. I climbed the fence and, as I spun around to flip over to the other side, I noted that Bart’s head was ten feet up in the air, ears up and alert, and his eyes staring right straight at me. I froze, smiled, and whispered aloud, “We are almost there, my friend; we are almost there. Our promise to you we will keep; the killing is about to end.” Bart nodded and Ethan snorted. I dropped to the ground and went off to bed: to dream, to hope, and to hum.
It is such a beautiful song.