What is it about horses? When I was a young girl I could think of little else. I read every horse book ever written, saved my allowance to “save the wild mustangs”, and begged and pleaded with my father to let me have a horse. He finally relented and leased one for me for awhile. I took lessons, rode, showed and I lived at the barn. I loved the aroma and was happy to spend my afternoons shucking out stalls, as long as I was surrounded by horses. I loved their beauty and strength. I loved the gentleness of some and the lively spirits of others. I’ve always felt a connection with them. I mentioned in an earlier post that they seem to know a horse lover when they see one. I believe they sense our spirits, and choose to trust, or not. I had an “engaging” horse experience this morning that left me feeling happy and really blessed by the moments. I’m working on a post about why I’m on this journey, but much of it is about enjoying the REAL treasures in life, and sweet, simple moments like these are just those kinds of treasures.
I woke up to a thick layer of fog hovering over the Columbia River below me. (My Dad’s place sits on a hill with an enviable view of the river and much of NW Oregon.) I wasn’t sure what I would find but the fog beckoned me. I threw on my jeans, grabbed my camera, hollered for my dogs and headed out to see what I might see. The light was fairly flat, but the fog hovered in layers amongst the trees like a soft blanket. I drove along the river into Longview and out to one of my favorite local spots, Willow Grove, a small island made up primarily of farmland. I slowly circled the island once, stopping several times right in the middle of the road. By the time I came full circle the light had changed so I decided to circle around again. The fog was much denser now, leaving me little to shoot along the river, so I turned my attention inward. About halfway around the island I saw a gray horse out in a dense field of brush. When I stopped he looked up at me for a moment, but by the time I stepped out of the car with my camera he had his head buried in the brush. I waited for awhile with my camera trained on the scene. Then I whistled and nickered and made all the other horse enticing sounds I could remember. He finally lifted his head again and stood there staring at me. I wished for better light, but stayed… engaged in the moment. I called out gently, “Come on… Come on.” Moments go by and then he starts walking, angling to the right along a trail in the brush in the direction of the other horses, and disappears behind a grove of trees. I’m thinking I may have lost him to the rest of the herd but kept my camera ready, and suddenly he comes strolling around the trees in my direction. He’s in no hurry. Just ambling along, but watching me every step of the way. I’m still cooing, “Come on.” He draws closer, and then almost comically does this skippy little canter for several steps and stops right in front of me at the fence. Simple as that he presents himself to me and looks at me as if to say, “Here I am.” I stood with him just as I would have as a little girl… talking, touching, taking in his spirit as he took in mine. Gentle, peaceful moments. Memories to carry with me like precious gems.