The horse's pasture to the East...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


We're in the thick of it now, aren't we? It's the middle of January. I haven't seen blue sky for days. There's more snow coming in and all I really want to do is to snuggle up on my favorite old sofa with a stack of good books, a pot of hot tea and a plate of little sandwiches and cookies. An upstairs maid to keep the fire going and ask me " Will there be anything else My Lady?" would be nice too. (must be the English in me)

Since I'm like all you other working stiffs, just trying to keep my head above water, I'll set that little fantasy to the side for now.

I do have some new books I'm reading. I bought them when we went on one of our "cheap dates" this past weekend (would have been cheaper if I hadn't bought them, but I'm a sucker for information). We went to a local oriental restaurant and shared a meal, then hiked over to the local Border's to look at books. Usually we look at books, pick up a stack of our favorites and go to the little coffee shop at the back of the store to drink some overpriced, too sugary and creamy hot stuff and eat a big gooey, "guaranteed to make your jeans an extra size larger" cookie. We read passages to each other, talk about our day, watch people. It's a nice way to spend an evening.

I've been studying about energy, spirit, how to use my body to speak to my horses (and other animals and people too). It's a never ending subject. Most good literature has to do with changes in the life of the protagonist and antagonist too. In my book (pun intended), that all has to do with our basic soul or spirit. In other, communication and growth. How interesting! And since my word for 2011 is "ASK", I'm indulging in research whenever I have a question that has to be waiting. Nothing is too simple or unimportant if it pops into my head this year.

The first book is "THIS I BELIEVE" taken from a series of NPR essays written  by all kinds of people, famous and unknown, about their philosophies. The idea came from one of the editors who, while in a waiting room, read about a series of essays from the fifties from another radio program. Some of the essays are from the fifties series. It's fascinating reading for me since I was born in the looking through a window in time and seeing the world my Mom saw from her point of view (and not the one I had as a child).

I love this kind of book. I can pick it up any time during the day and read another essay, then set it aside and go back to work. During lunch I read '' Life Grows in the Soil of Time ", by Thomas Mann, a Nobel Peace Prize winning author from the first half of the Twentieth Century. In it he says " Time is related to-yes, identical with-everything creative and active, with every progress toward a higher goal." WOW! Now you know why I had to buy this book. Every single essay is like that. Talk about syncronicity!

This morning, while out doing chores, I took the book with me and read aloud from another one of the essays. Lucky, Apache and Willow were in the barn with me, eating hay right off the stack. I'd like to think that during the munching and crunching, they were enjoying it as much as I did. They sure did make a good audience. Not one of them yawned or said " I'm boooored."  * really big grin here*  The essay I read to them was by Kay Redfield Jamison, a professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, one of the places my Mother was accepted to as a student. (She chose Chapel Hill, North Carolina) A quote from her essay goes " I believe that curiosity, wonder, and passion are defining qualities of imaginative minds and great teachers; that restlessness and discontent are vital things; and that intense experience and suffering instruct us in ways less intense emotions can never do." Juicy stuff to chew on, isn't it? Or at least that was the herd's opinion.

The other book I bought is by Thich Nhat Hanh, a teacher of Buddhism and, in that world, recognized as second only to the Dali Lama. His book is titled "YOU ARE HERE". In it he talks about the value of living in the moment, of finding your way to peace in your life through meditation. At this point you're wondering about a cowgirl from Kansas who reads about Buddhism.

I'm one of those true American mutts. I'm 1/2 Jewish and 1/2 everything else, raised in the German Lutheran church, the Catholic church and the Episcopalian church. And now I belong to no formal religion, but am instead an explorer when it comes to spirituality. And, not surprisingly, horses have become a major component of that for me.

When my head is muddled and my heart is sore, I go out to their pasture and stand with them, sometimes in the middle of the night under the stars, and just "BE". It clears my head out and settles me like nothing else I've ever done.

When I picked up "YOU ARE HERE" and read from it, it was one of those head slapping moments for me. At least some part of my personal belief system is Buddhist... one of those "AH HA!" moments. Here's one of the quotes that caught my attention. " If you are facing a sunset, a marvelous spectacle, give yourself a chance to be in touch with it. Give yourself five minutes, breathing deeply, and you will be truly there. Touch the beauty of nature." I do that every day, when I am outside with my herd. This place and this time in my life has given me great peace of mind and body. It's why I laugh so much. It's all so perfect, just the way it is.

I guess in my own way I'm creating my little Winter nook in my life to read about philosophy while I study my Parelli discs, read one of Pat Parelli's books and wonder at the path that has brought me here. I think that takes me to the second in the 7 KEYS OF SUCCESS... "Knowledge" and, perhaps, the sixth "Imagination".

I am, always yours, Nancy, ruminating and cogitating on the way the world turns...with a smile!

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