Wednesday, October 27, 2010

homecoming

When I got to the barn for breakfast tubs Monday morning, after being away for 5 days, I was greeted by six sets of equine ears all perked in my direction. Even the pony, who is not always willing to show his affection, was at a stall door with eyes and ears glued to me.

I spent a few moments with each one, saying hello, making sure they were all okay. They all got their hooves trimmed while I was gone (a first!) and I'd read the notes but wanted to see their feet. Everyone is improved, and Salina, on a new diet and protocol, had gotten a really good trim because she was limber enough to lift both front feet so he could get at them the usual way. (when her knees are stiff, he trims her hooves in a sawdusty area with the feet on the ground - it works surprisingly well, but he can't get a good view from below to check sole and balance)

After breakfast tubs, they were all eating hay, and I took the wheelbarrow out to the paddock to do some mucking. It was overcast and lovely, with deeply gray skies and fall color beginning to pop. There was a small breeze. Mucking the paddock is a very grounding activity for me, and I wanted to get back into the November Hill routine.

After only a moment of mucking, I was joined by the Big Bay, who left his hay behind to come walk with me as I made my way along the paddock. I stopped and took a minute to rub him down with both hands. His winter coat is in now, and he feels so soft and warm. After the rub-down, he walked to the gate to the back field and looked back, inviting me to join him there.

We walked back together. He munched on a few acorns, and I mucked a few piles. We stood looking into the forest. I'm sure he was looking at something specific, but I just let my eyes go soft and enjoyed the big view, letting this place sink in deep, trusting him to alert me if anything needed attending to.

After a few minutes, it started to rain. At first it was a light rain and it felt good, but then it got harder, and Keil Bay looked at me as if to say, "I'm glad you're home but I'm not standing in the rain with you!"

And after a moment he sauntered back to the paddock and into his stall.

I stayed out for another minute, remembering a Native American ritual I read about a few years back. You go to a mountain and offer up your dream, and then you wait. When it rains, it's a sign that the mountain has accepted your dream and is raining it back down onto you so the dream can come true.

On the back slope of November Hill, my innermost thought was that I was happy to be home with the horses, and that I hope to have many many years of being with them just the way I was right that moment with Keil Bay.

What a wonderful and immediate affirmation I received with that soft and then heavier rain. There is no greater gift than living this dream of living with horses I love.

Sometimes we need to go away to remember, and celebrate, the blessing of coming home again.

6 comments:

Kate said...

Lovely - thank you!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Beautiful sentiments capturing your feelings. They must all be so happy you are home with them.

Dougie Donk said...

Lovely image of mountain giving back your dream, which I will hold onto for future use.

Not right now tho' - temp. in my part of Scotland was minus 6 Celsius on Monday morning & since then it has been endless sheet rain.

Time to follow the Big Bay's example & beat a hasty retreat!

billie said...

Kate, you're most welcome!

billie said...

Arlene, I think they are. I'm sure Keil Bay is.

billie said...

D, oh my - that's a different sort of rain altogether, isn't it? We had a big storm last night, although not the cold. We were under a tornado watch most of yesterday.