but the fire is so delightful
and since we've no place to go,
let it snow!
let it snow!
let it snow!"-The American Christmas Carol, Let it Snow by Sammy Chan and Julie Styne
I live in a section of the USA which experiences more moderate temperatures in winter. Usually, one or maybe two snowfalls (at the most) each winter and a few weeks of temperatures that fall below 32 degrees fahrenheit. That's it. It is not unusual to find temperatures hovering around 40 degrees for most of the season...but snow in OCTOBER????? Oh my! Our first "whiff" of snow, on top of a rainy night has made our roads a slushy mess today and I wonder, is this unexpected snowfall a harbinger of things to come??? I am one of those people who start to complain about winter weather, the minute the thermometer falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Last night, after listening to the weather report on my way home from the office, I decided to blanket the horses, as the weatherman predicted wet, chilly, wind-driven rain. I am glad to have made this decision and for the added protection they have against this unexpected blast of winter weather.
And so, amidst much of my "belly-aching", winter comes. Dreadful winter and all the "cold inconveniences" of it, are as much a part of life, as the sweet smell of flowers and the feel of the warm breeze is for the summertime. Winter reminds me that dying, is as natural as living. You can't have one, without the other.
A few weeks ago, a member of my family died unexpectedly and suddenly from leukemia. Joan was a vibrant, dynamic and young sixty-six year old woman. A successful real estate agent with a large client following, a wife, a mother, a grandmother of two young boys; she was a very much alive, very active and very much involved senior. Everyone loved Joan. So, when she was experiencing flu-like symptoms in August, no one expected the diagnosis nor that she would no longer be here, by the end of September. We already miss her terribly. I will never forget her and her warmth. She made everyone feel welcome, important and comfortable.
I was at my local library over the weekend and found a new photography book by Tony Stromberg called THE FORGOTTEN HORSES. Do you know this book? It is a beautiful book, picturing horses that were rescued from abusive homes. Horses that had been abandoned or neglected by their owners. Horses that were once treasured and suddenly rejected, by the same people who treasured them and cared for them and once, even loved them. I know how they feel.
"We have become a society whose mantra is disposability. In our misdirected quest for some elusive sense of perfection, we act like hungry ghosts, caught in an endless cycle of consumption. We tire quickly of our cars, our toys....and nowadays, even our animals and our loved ones-but no matter, we can simply toss them aside and replace them."-Tony Stromberg, from his book, The Forgotten HorsesI was captivated by the beauty of these horses. I was charmed by their individual personalities and for the zeal that these horses have for life. Horses are so beautiful and to see them running, grazing, resting and even thinking, is a gift that is simple, yet, priceless. And within each picture, there is so much going on! It fills my heart to overjoying and encourages me. The happiness that I experience through horses helps me to endure the more challenging, sad times. Captured on film and in the pages of this book forever, these horses remind us that they are part of life and that life, is a part of them. We are all connected and we all need each other. Horses have an integrity for life that human beings seem to have forgotten.
"We have simply lost touch with what gives us peace and belonging, the feeling that we have enough and are an integral part of the world around us."-Tony Stromberg, from the book, The Forgotten HorsesJulie Dicker was an animal communicator and healer from England. Four years ago, I read the book, What Horses Say, based on Julie's experiences communicating and healing 62 different horses. Anna Clemence Mews, the author of the book, interviewed Julie, her clients and personally saw many of the horses that Julie worked with.
"When I first encounter a horse sometimes, there's a lot going on in his head and he wants to tell me things right away. Sometimes, he doesn't have much to say but is in pain and that's what I have to sort out first. Every horse is different."-Julie Dicker, from the book, What Horses Say by Anna Clemence MewsThis book is the culmination of two years worth of research and helps the reader to begin to have some understanding of life, from the horse's perspective. I will have to admit, that while I was very curious to learn more about human-animal communication; I was a bit skeptical. On American television, Animal Planet's Pet Psychic did much to popularize animal communication and make it a more mainstream concept, if that is possible. I have been convinced, for a long time now, that animals experience a very deep emotional life. I don't believe that emotions are unique to human beings alone. How an animal's emotional life differs from a human's, is a mystery to me, as socially, animals and humans live and experience life differently. The idea that horses can form and express complete thoughts, which convey needs or desires and make them known to certain humans who have the ability to understand horses psychically, is intriguing. Actually, more like fascinating.
"We might all expect that horses know they need people to give them food. But, interestingly, what emerged from questioning the group of sixty-two, was that many of them considered it not necessarily the most important thing we could give them. Emotional stability, and the right relationship, for some at least, appeared to nourish them even more than hay or oats."-Anna Clemence Mews, from the book, What Horses Say
I loved the book, What Horses Say. Shortly after reading this book, I contacted Julie Dicker and found a compassionate, warm-hearted, kind and generous person. She offered to communicate with my horse and my dog for a reduced price, in appreciation for the review that I had posted on Amazon about her book. All I needed to do was provide a picture of each, as well as provide some of their hair. Picture? Hair? In the mail? To England? Communicate? The skeptic in me took over and unfortunately, I never did send her anything. While it was easier to accept animal communication in real life; it was much harder to accept a long-distance communication, relying on a few strands of hair and a photo. Much to my sadness, I learned that Julie was battling cancer and subsequently died. I never got to tell her the difference her book made in my life and I would never learn the answers to the questions that live in the hearts and minds of my animals. Since then, I have read many books on the subjects and have a deeper understanding or rather, a sensitivity to horses and to building a gentle, kinder way of life with them. I am embarrassed over my skepticism and the missed opportunity to know my horse a bit more.
"Empathy for the horse is the capacity of a person to feel what the horse feels, to read a situation the same way, and to have an understanding of what the horse is going to do in response to that situation."-from the book, True Horsemanship Through Feel by Leslie Desmond with Bill Dorrance
The greatest tribute that I can give a woman like Julie Dicker is to ask you to purchase her book. Not for the book sale, although that is good too, but more so to keep her experiences and her knowledge alive. Spread it around. Tell somebody about Julie. And I don't say this to you because I want to convince you of psychic communication with horses. I don't. If one person reads this book and becomes more sensitive or more aware, as to how their may horse feel, then I will have succeeded in paying tribute to a wonderful, wonderful lady, who wanted the world to approach all horses with love.
"Men and Women everywhere are being made acutely aware of the fact that something essential to life and well-being is flickering very low in the human species and threatening to go out entirely. This 'something' has to do with such values as love,unselfishness, integrity, sincerity, loyalty to one's best, honesty, enthusiasm, humility, goodness, happiness, fun. Practically every animal still has these assets in abundance and is eager to share them, given opportunity and encouragement."-J.Allen Boone, from his book, Kinship With All Life
And so, on this snowy day, I leave you with a trail of deep thoughts, to contemplate and mull over a hot cup of tea and I wish you and your horses a deeper understanding, for a complete relationship founded on love.
Enjoy your horses,