Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Perk of the Job

While doing an interview for an upcoming article in the United Church Observer magazine, I had the brilliant idea of taking some photos of my subject dressed in his "circuit rider" garb and standing next to a horse -- which he and his wife happen to have four of on their rural property -- to go with the theme of the article.
While I waited for him to change, I wander out to the fenced pasture to look at the horses and this paint, named Sioux, was one of two that wandered up to the fence for attention.
There was something about her eyes that caught me. They were different than the other horse standing at the fence, different than the big grey fella I meet while walking the dog. In Sioux's eyes I sensed a deep intelligence, an intense awareness. That's the best way I can describe it but I have heard enough stories about the spirituality of horses, about their intuitive nature and intelligence to understand I was seeing something important.
Growing up, I knew the story of my parents having dinner with friends and my mother couldn't understand why her allergies kicked in badly in a house with no dogs or cats; turns out the daughter of their friends had riding clothes hanging in the front hall closet. For me, this story meant horses were meant to be seen but not touched, admired but not enjoyed. The irony of this is that if there had been no allergy and we'd wanted to ride horses, my sister and I would have with my father's full support -- he likely would have bought us our own horse if we'd showed enough interest.
But horses are wandering into my life now. Partly because I live in the country but perhaps also because I am craving more and more the interaction with and the learning of horses. And cows and donkeys and goats. I am attracting them, I'd say, in small, delightful doses. With every interaction, their enchantment of me grows.

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