11 December, 2008

A Winter's Walk

"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order."-John Burroughs

I just needed some fresh air and a chance to clear my head. Too much coffee...too much computer...too much....just too damn much. So, out my back door and soon, on the path, to one of my favorite spots. Leaving the edge of desperation, to cross the valley of frustration, on my way to the road of inspiration.

Welcome to my world.

16 degrees Fahrenheit and 45 mile an hour winds. The snow stuck to my dog's coat and soon, she changed from the black dog she is, to a white, snow dog. WHEW!!! The wind howled around me, it's icy grip reaching down my throat, grasping the very air out of my lungs. What a shock. It was brutally cold and it was all I could do not to turn around and head back inside...but in the woods, all is quiet...all is calm. The wind does not find me, walking among the trees and the bushes. It is my refuge and for a little while, a chance to out run my emails, my fears and worries. I need this walk. I really need it. It takes as much as a few minutes sometimes, for my heart to feel light and happy again. I marvel at all that I see, as nature happens right before my eyes.

"In the bleak midwinter,
frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago."-Christina Rosetti, from her song, In the Bleak Mid-Winter

I always think of fairy-tales when I walk in these woods. The forest that I walk through, possesses a charm which belongs in books. Like the woods in Narnia, as described by C.S. Lewis. With a fresh blanket of snow covering everythng, the road looks more magical than ever. My road. My Narnia. The walking road that leads me to a better place emotionally and to a deeper relationship with the God I love. He is in all that I see and all that I see, is proof that He is here, with me.

So, what does this have to do with horses???? Well, nothing really....and just about everything. Have you really looked at your horses? I mean, really looked at them? It is in these moments, that life becomes more simple and the most trivial, often-missed wonders of the natural world are observed for the first time. A tree that I have passed a million times, suddenly moves a different way in the wind and I notice how incredibly beautiful she is. I stop to look and gaze at her in wonder. She is graceful, with her long and slender arms, held high over her head, as she nimbly dances in the wind. A wooden ballerina in the middle of her recital, here, just for me. Bravo! I shout and she curtsies in return. The bunny that I scared completely out of its wits, hops away with a giant sized powder puff of a tail. And underneath a pile of leaves that my dog pushed away, I find a solitary pansy, huddled and looking for warmth in the leaves, misplaced in the wrong season but ever so beautiful. Her purple leaves rimmed in yellow, reminding me of the golden gift that a long ago wiseman offered on a dark winter's night. Hope! It lives! Right here, in this special place of inspiration, I am reminded of the promise of a new life, a new beginning, a grand awakening....a new spring. Oh, spring, it warms my heart just to say her name.

"...such miracle and sign as accompany the wonder of every birth. To those who have eyes to see, a star shines when any child is born. To those who have ears to hear, the morning stars sing together and all shout for joy, when a new soul enters the world. There is hope for man whenever man is young, and for the world whenever a new life appears."-John Haynes Holmes, from his book, The Second Christmas
So, as I "recharge my batteries" and find a new direction, I wish you all the warmth, wonder and beauty of December, as it unfolds, right before our eyes.

Enjoy your horses,
Ralph

2 comments:

Chris said...

Love that picture and quote - thanks for sharing!

"Leaving the edge of desperation, to cross the valley of frustration, on my way to the road of inspiration." - very eloquent.

May the road of inspiration be constantly a reminder for you in the new year!

Kim said...

I cant tell that you dream, breath and LIVE Arabian horses!! I got started on that path with my first acquired horse... a 19 year old flea-bitten gray Arabian gelding that chose me. I don't know how else to explain that when he smooched me like he did on our first meeting, that that's not his way of making a girl like me, fall in love with a perfect boy like him! We are going to be 21 and 18 this year, in a couple months.
And I hope to spend the rest of my life with an Arabian! and to always have an Arabian in my life. If not Arabians :).

And your description of the way Ansata Halim Shah's conformation is, is so true.

Ansata Halim Shah was a horse whose overall structure was one of uninterrupted smoothness. The outline or rather, the silhouette of Ansata Halim Shah was comprised of circular lines, creating an equality of body that is harmonious, elegant and graceful. There are no sharp angles, there are no abrupt interruptions to redirect lines that are gently flowing from one, into the next. He was not a horse of bits and pieces, rather, Ansata Halim Shah was a living sum of all his parts. Nothing was too short or too long; everything was perfectly suited for his body.

I love seeing a gorgeous horse like that. And I love Wayne Newtons response when asked why he chose the Arabian breed.. his response "The Arabian horse can do it all, and generally speaking they can do it better!"

Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading your blog further, and learning things from you too! as I have learned quite a bit from Mikael!