That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty." Shakespeare, THE WINTER'S TALE - THE TEMPEST
When was the first time you read Shakespeare...really read it? For me it was in the ninth grade. I played a donkey, or rather a man who is changed into a donkey. Appropriate, don't you think? I loved it. It was a comedy about love between the fairies and these hapless people lost in the woods (A MID SUMMER'S NIGHT DREAM).
I made a mask for when I turned into the donkey. It wasn't required. I love masks and still make them. And I love theater too, and comedy. I love to make people laugh. And I did that day all those long years ago too. I hadn't even told the teacher. When I stepped out into the hallway to reenter as the donkey, I took the mask out of a friend's locker right next to the door and put it on. All of the hours of extra work were worth the reception too. I made everyone including the other actors laugh so hard, it stopped the play. After that I was hooked. I'm still a story teller and I love having an audience to play to.
"When my love swears that she is made of truth,
I do believe her, though I know she lies." SHAKESPEARE, SONNET 138, LINE 1
It's magic, that kind of poetry. It picks me up and carries me through the day when I read it. What I wouldn't give for the right accent to read it aloud! But somehow, even with my Midwestern voice, it still reads beautifully. All of the consonants and vowels flow together with such grace and elegance. It always makes me think in a different rhythm when I read it. And there's a line for every thing that happens, too, if you're willing to look for it.
"How like a Winter has my absence been. " SHAKESPEARE, SONNET 97, LINE 1
Spring is almost here. I have no doubt there will still be days cold enough for long underwear and snow, but not as many now. There's a haze of green on the hills and I've been hearing birds in the woods. I saw my first flock of geese flying north this morning. That's always my signal to set my gardens in order, to check the fences and to drag the arena and get it ready. It's time to step it up and get this show going again.
" Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth
And delves the parallels in beauty's brow." SHAKESPEARE, SONNET 60, LINE 9
Today I played Stick to Me with all three in my herd. I love that game! The more delicate I am...the more I learn about their body language, the more exciting the results are. Course it's a bit of a cheat now since they love to play and nearly always come to me. But then there's the refining of the technique...learning how to "talk" with them so I can say "Now you." and then release. And then I let the other know "And now you!"
Tonight I changed it up a bit and made it a game of One Foot at a Time. "Lucky, please step forward with your left front." and then "Now, Apache, please step back with your left front." They love it as much as I do, although usually Lucky looses interest sooner than Apache unless...UNLESS...there's a reason. If we're going towards the barn for grain, he loves it! That was his incentive tonight. Apache just plain flat out loves the game in any form. He was all ears forward and poised for whatever I was going to ask. With Apache I need to keep it interesting or he makes it interesting for me.
So we played Dodge Ball. I'm the "cow" and he's the horse. Lucky was content to just keep walking in at his usual orderly pace, but Apache and I had to chase each other around the trees next to the gate, dodging back and forth. I think he's what the cowboys would call a "horse with cow in him". He loves that game and if we don't play it enough to suit him, he takes off after Willow, moving her all over the pasture and then herding her into the paddock for me. And he's doing all of this on his own too!
We were playing at Liberty, so I didn't work more than fifteen minutes with either of them. I'm slowly, slowly getting them ready for the more formal games we'll be starting back up in the arena and round corral (both have been full of snow or gooshy after the most recent snow or ice storm for more than two months now).
" Full many a glorious morning have I seen. " SHAKESPEARE, SONNET 33, LINE 1
I am so ready for this year, so excited! The further I go into this phase of my life, the more I find myself being immersed in my art of living. The colors are brighter, the sounds finer and the smells richer. My herd has taken me down paths that were dreams when I was younger.
All I have is right now. Lucky, with his quiet authority, has taken me to the place I need to be when it's time to lead. Apache, with his need to play...to engage, has shown me how to be more athletic and focused. Willow, with her wiry grey hair and big soft ears, has shown me how to be dignified no matter how human I am.
Tomorrow is March first and I am ready for Spring! Let the games begin...again.
"And art made tongue-tied by authority." SHAKESPEARE, SONNET 66, LINE 9
"Principals, purpose and time are the tools of teaching." , PAT PARELLI, EIGHT PRINCIPALS OF HORSEMANSHIP, # 8
I am, ever yours, Nancy, tripping sweetly to my own music and smiling