The night air was thin and sharp, a deep winter cold making the trees pop. It had been a long day working under horses, barely keeping enough circulation to feel my fingers as I clutched my metal farrier tools. Finally home, I sat by the woodstove, slowly thawing; I had no desire to go back outside.
Aquila, my husband, asked if I wanted to join him as he stepped out to smoke one of the cancer sticks he so intensely clings to in his life. I curtly declined, not wanting to lose the precious heat I was building, nor support his bad habit. He left and as the door closed, it blew a frigid piece of the minus thirty Celsius around my feet and ankles. He opened the door again, making me stiffen in body and attitude.
“The moon is incredible right now, you gotta come see!” Aquila said hopefully as he poked his head inside, and then quickly shut the door. I softened, knowing he would be right: the worst nights for cold seem to be the most beautiful, especially when the full moon blasts across the snow and lights up the entire farm.
I reluctantly put my hat, mittens, scarf, coat and boots back on, and stepped out into the tortuous temperatures. I was instantly in awe of the clearly defined moon shadows scattered across the snowy lawn by trees and buildings. We stood side by side soaking in the incredible view of our beloved farm as our nostrils stuck together with each inhale.
Suddenly, from the barn came the unmistakeable scream of Spring, our miniature horse! This was completely uncharacteristic and instantly brought concern. Had something happened? Had one of the big horses gotten out of their stalls and hurt her? Was she sick? Was she alerting us to a predator lurking nearby?
Immediately, we rushed down to the barn, flicked on the lights to find three sleepy horses, and one wide awake Spring, looking at us expectantly. Nothing seemed out of order… I checked her thoroughly, as well as the others, and gave them all an evening snack of hay. All seemed well, and Spring seemed thoroughly pleased. She ate a little, followed me around, ate a little more, and stood next to me asking to be scratched. Crouching down to her level to look her in the eye, she took a step closer to “snuggle” in.
I believe Spring heard the house door open and yelled up to get our attention, not because there was anything wrong, but to have a little company.
I have been learning so much from this soulful, tiny girl. What struck me that night is how capable she is at asking for what she wants. How many times have I desired, or even needed something from someone, but didn’t have the courage to ask for it? Ten years ago, perhaps this happened even daily. These days, this has really changed for the better, but nonetheless something I still have to work on.
With Spring, she constantly shows me how to not be afraid. Surrounded by horses ten times her size, and people who tower over her, she is completely confident in clearly expressing herself. Whether it be setting boundaries with Grace and making it clear that her hay is her own, or calling to us to see if we will answer and come say hi, she puts her whole tiny self into it, making her seem huge. If she can do it, so can I.
Some may say Spring has me trained, to have me run to her when she calls. I think of it differently. I want to be generous with my love. I want to be generous with my instincts and rush to her aid, or that of any other being if it feels right, without second guessing that reaction. I want to be generous with myself, to give myself the room to ask for what I want, or call for help. I want to be generous with my time so that I may follow my horse heart.
How are you generous? Would love to know, leave me a comment.
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