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Posts Tagged ‘horses’

cowgirl/boy

horses are in my blood.

in my heart.

it would be so fun for me if that passed along to one of the kids.  especially if it was soon while my parents live nearby and have horses.

so i do my best to brain wash them.

tack shop trail ride:

don’t be fooled by her silly face.  this cowgirl is obsessed and she refused to get off that “horsey”.

 

sibling funny faces.

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stroke of luck

the sun shines.

and a small bee is hovering, 

wings a buzz

but holding perfectly still

in the air 

as we walk past.

 

hello world,

i am saying.

show me how to live.

show me how to live by instinct.

in tune with nature.

heart beat with the earth.

 

and underneath me he is moving.

stepping.

his neck is soft and stretched forward.

his ears are loose and moving.

and our bodies know how to fit.

and our energy knows how to merge.

and he brings me right into the present.

 

stop thinking,

the land is telling me.

and i see the bee.

be.

stop thinking,

the gnats are telling me.

and his walk.

and the hawk circling above.

and the grass poking out it’s spring growth.

my heart warms a little.

my hips swing in the same rhythm as his.

 

the skunk cabbage is thriving.

its leaves are broad and green.

i broaden back.

and thank the land.

and breath in deeply the scent.

 

and then i ask, 

can we run?

and of course we can.

so when i come off the trail down the back,

and into the lower field.

we go.  slow and fast and faster.

he reaches his head forward.

and lengthens his back.

and i balance above him.

and feel the wind on my face.

 

when he is done he slows to a walk

and i just let him lead.

and then i lean over.

my arms reach down around his neck.

a girls embrace.

 

i don’t deserve him

but he is mine

and i love him.

he loves me back.

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inquiring minds 2

 

joshua in 2006

joshua in 2006

 

 

after the storm warning post milkmama asked this in a comment:

I would be interested to know how you talk to your 3-year old about the passing of an animal friend. We haven’t had to discuss this yet with our son, but I know that eventually it will come and I’m not sure what to do. I grew up on a farm and learned early about birth and death and I want to be honest with our children, but also I don’t want to cause them unnecessary pain.

 

my answer would be this:

i think each family needs to figure out how they talk to their kids about death but i am happy to share what i do. first i need to wax poetic a little bit about the gift that the animal friends in my life have given me by sharing their death with me. it is through my relationship with animals and my relearning to communicate with them that i developed an understanding of and appreciation for death and crossing over that feels right to me. one of the best things about having animals in our life is that they have a shorter life span then we do, in general, and so they force us to face something that our species and culture currently does not like to face — death.

to keep this brief i will say that i believe that when a being in ordinary reality dies their spirit crosses over into the “spirit world” in which it continues to exist as energy without form. this belief makes it easy for me to talk to my son about death because what is happening is not scary. i am not scared, the animal is not scared, he does not need to be scared.

 

i tend to say something like this:

bean, soon it is going to be time for dylan to go see his friends in the spirit world. they need him to be with them. they are all waiting there to play with him. so he is going to be leaving us and going to the spirit world. we are really going to miss him and we are going to miss his body being with us. but his spirit is still in our hearts. we might feel sad saying goodbye and we might miss him. but his friends in the spirit world need him now.

 

he usually listens quietly and nods. and then, without fail, he’ll say something astonishing.

 

we have had two animals cross over since the bean was old enough that i was talking to him about it. and, i believe in reincarnation. i also believe that if you have a close bond with an animal it can and often does return to you as another animal. but i have never tried to talk to the bean about reincarnation. i just wanted to keep things simple, the animal will be gone to the spirit world seems complex enough for a 2.5 and now almost 3 year old.

 

when he was 2.5 we had to say goodbye to our miniature donkey named joshua and i told the bean a something similar to what i said above. he listened and nodded and was quiet. then about one minute later he said, “josh will come back to us someday.” i was a little taken back so i was quiet and then i thought maybe he didn’t understand the finality of what i had said so i repeated that josh was leaving us to go to the spirit world and we would not see his body anymore and so on. again he was quiet a moment but then he said, with even more conviction, “but mama, someday he will come back to us.”

 

clearly he has some basic knowledge i didn’t realize he had. so i just said, “yes, someday he can come back to us again.”

 

well a few days ago my mom was talking to him about dylan and telling him the deal about the spirit world needing him and that she might cry because she would miss dylan. and after her talk he said to her, “it is ok gran gran. dylan will be back again.”

 

apparently my spirited child is in direct communication with the spirit world and not afraid to prove it 😉

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dylan in purple blanket

dylan in purple blanket

 

it poured down rain last night and in the guest room of this house i could hear the water rushing through the gutters.  by morning the worst of it had passed and it was just gray and drizzling when the backhoe arrived and started digging the hole in the front paddock.  and then the vet pulled in.  i got the bean set up with gramps playing in the sand by the barn and put the pea on my back in lse and walked with my mom and the vet and dylan all the way to the front edge of the front paddock where the backhoe was digging.  the pea was being relatively quiet and the rain had mostly stopped so i felt calm.  

 

we have been preparing for this passing for weeks.  the idea that he would not make it back up north again, talking it over with him and the other horses, calling the vet to discuss with her, supporting my mom as she wondered if it really was the right thing.  last thursday was set to be the day we put him down but huge thunder storms rolled in and it was too wet to dig.  we rescheduled for this morning.  on saturday night he rolled in a red ant hill and was attacked but we didn’t know until the morning when we came out and saw his swollen neck which he had rubbed to a bloody raw mess in spots.  my mom was heartbroken that he was suffering on his last day but each time i checked in with him he was just the littlest bit upset.  he was already so detached from his body there was very little suffering going on.

 

we treated the wound as best we could, made him comfortable, and at his request we focused on his passing.  we got a copy of the song he is named after (storm warning by bonnie raitt) downloaded it to my mom’s computer and we thought about what else we might want to do to honor his passing.  and we cried a little bit and we also just said, “we are ready.”

 

my mom has had dylan for about 15 years give or take and if there is one thing he has been it is her horse.  through and through to the bottom of his soul and beyond he had been deeply devoted to her and her to him.  he has been like a rock in her life.  and although i feel connected to him, this time, saying goodbye, the crossing, has been for me about helping my mom say goodbye to a true soul touching friend.

 

so out to the field we go.  the storm has cleared.  and the vet asks me if i know what a horse is like going down and of course i do because we have been here before.  as she is injecting dylan i close my eyes and i call out to springy (an old horse of ours who is on the other side who told me before he would help dylan cross) and i tell him the moment is here and dylan is leaving his body any second so can he please be ready.  and then i can see him standing there waiting on the other side of the river.  he is round and full and healthy and his mane sticks straight up and he has the shortest little tail that stops right as his hocks. he looks fantastic.  and then dylan, here in ordinary reality, takes two tiny steps backwards (that is so dylan) and falls to the ground.  his eyes are still open but the light is gone just like that.

 

i close my eyes again and i see the two of them now.  dylan is fat in the belly and angular everywhere else, a thoroughbred in his prime with a rich shiny summer coat and he is galloping and kicking out.  and i feel, not sad at all, but joyous.  absolutely weightless, joyous, free and alive.  so in crossing, in dying, i feel life.

 

we say goodbye to dylan and i am smiling because i know how he is feeling.  he is in the land of perfection and he is freed from the trials of an aging body and he is with his herd over there.  later my mom will read what she wrote about their time together and cry a little.  then we will turn on his song and dance around the living room smiling and crying at the same time.  and the wind will pick up and blow like mad during the sunny day and my mom will say the weather is perfect for the day he passed.  but at the moment he crosses there is nothing in my heart but joy and that is the teaching he last gifted us.  the running free bucking galloping tail high gift of goodbye and thank you.

 

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

—Anonymous

 

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there is not a lot of me time in my life. today i owe my mom huge props for providing me with back to back me activities, a ride and a shower! wow! the horse in the background of this photo is “my horse” lucky. i put that in quotes because i have barely ridden or cared for him at all since the bean was born. thanks again to my mom who has treated him like her own, cleaned his stall, fed him, ridden him, and footed his bills. since i have been down here in SC for the month i have ridden a handful of times which is more then i had in years. in some ways it comes right back and in others i am totally lost up there. but, the joy is ceaseless. and the weight is lifted from me. i am not stressed, angry, tired, or frustrated. i am just being. that has always been the magic for me. that and the relationship with my horse. but he brings me into the present in the simplest ways.

after i ride i can come back into the house where the bean is no different and the chickpea is still loud as all get out and i don’t want to hide from them anymore. instead i can laugh at the things that were making me cringe.

and a shower! alone! with time to shave my legs! you have to be a mom to appreciate the insanity of this day. a ride and a shower. holy divine one has shined her grace down on me today. i promise to be worthy of it even through the witching hour.

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