The horse's pasture to the East...

Monday, April 18, 2016


"Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry water.  After enlightenment chop wood, carry water."

I love the way time works. When you're very young, at the beginning of your life, it has no structure. It's like floating in a quiet pool with clouds suspended in the sky above you. There is no reference to the past or the future. You simply are, the perfect Zen state of BEing. All of your senses are working and the world is a clear slate waiting for you to write your story on it.

My Mom was 26 when she had me, 5 years after she married my father. She was so achingly young! And I was brand new, weighing less than six pounds. All I knew was the sound of her heart beat and breath.

Excerpts from an article titled SCIENTISTS DISCOVER CHILDREN'S CELLS LIVING IN MOTHER'S BRAINS, Scientific American, December 4, 2012

Microchimerism most commonly results from the exchange of cells across the placenta during pregnancy, however there is also evidence that cells may be transferred from mother to infant through nursing. In addition to exchange between mother and fetus, there may be exchange of cells between twins in utero, and there is also the possibility that cells from an older sibling residing in the mother may find their way back across the placenta to a younger sibling during the latter’s gestation. Women may have microchimeric cells both from their mother as well as from their own pregnancies, and there is even evidence for competition between cells from grandmother and infant within the mother.

What it is that fetal microchimeric cells do in the mother’s body is unclear, although there are some intriguing possibilities. For example, fetal microchimeric cells are similar to stem cells in that they are able to become a variety of different tissues and may aid in tissue repair. One research group investigating this possibility followed the activity of fetal microchimeric cells in a mother rat after the maternal heart was injured: they discovered that the fetal cells migrated to the maternal heart and differentiated into heart cells helping to repair the damage. In animal studies, microchimeric cells were found in maternal brains where they became nerve cells, suggesting they might be functionally integrated in the brain. It is possible that the same may be true of such cells in the human brain.

These microchimeric cells may also influence the immune system. A fetal microchimeric cell from a pregnancy is recognized by the mother’s immune system partly as belonging to the mother, since the fetus is genetically half identical to the mother, but partly foreign, due to the father’s genetic contribution. This may “prime” the immune system to be alert for cells that are similar to the self, but with some genetic differences. 

This is a burgeoning new field of inquiry with tremendous potential for novel findings as well as for practical applications. But it is also a reminder of our interconnectedness.

Robert Martone is the Neuroscience therapeutic area lead for The Covance Biomarker Center of Excellence located in Greenfield, Indiana. 
I love the last word in this article, " interconnectedness ". It's occurred to me that LIFE is actually like a symphony. The orchestration is perfect with all of our lives being instruments that add to the complicated interweaving of our parts of the song. We drop in to the chorus and sing for all we're worth and, when the timing is right, our song fades away allowing another's to enter and take center stage for a while. 
Threading through our song are the wind, rain, sunshine, animals and plants, oceans and earth. When you sit way out in the balconies, the nose bleeder sections reserved for students, you can hear the quiet ground work of the Universe, the true 'Music of the Spheres'. 
I am neither of the East nor of the West, no boundaries exist within my breast. Rumi
There are parts of my 'song' that came to me before I can remember them ; cats and dogs,horses, gardens, books, music and color. I don't remember when I learned to read. I remember being so small my Mom had to help me up on to the sofa so I could spend my day reading new books, looking at beautiful pictures and paintings, drifting in a sea of stories that carried me away to new places in my imagination. The more I read, the more she read to me, the wider my horizons were. It was limitless. I could be anyone, do anything! And there wasn't anyone to tell me I couldn't. 
And then I grew up. I had to find a way to keep myself motivated, discover who I am, sing louder, make a joyful noise. 
Enter horses. 
This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet. Rumi

When you are young you think getting older will change things, give you more freedom and power, solve all of the problems you deal with as you discover yourself. It almost has to get easier with age and wisdom as your shield. When you are on the other side of your life, the irrefutable place in the orchestration where time and age have had their way, you miss the clarity, the bravery of youth. But horses are always in that perfect state of Zen ; balanced between the past and the future, always in the NOW

They lead me with a perfect sense of humor and inner knowledge of their place in the melody. They sing their part of the song, setting my key to balance my part in the choir. 

Their poetry, sense of timing, rhythm and pace, elegance and power sets my course and allows me to make discoveries about who I am in my own place of BEing. They settle me, remind me of the path I am on.

How long is irrelevant. How well I use the notes is everything. I am making a loud and joyful noise, singing as loud as I can. I AM. Anything is possible.

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