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Annual Letter 2012
Annual Letter is formatted as a year of journal snippets for
you. This has been a year of appreciation; the abundance of
sustenance on all levels, the boundless beauty of my
surroundings, and my love of all the critters here. I said
good-bye to Missy in February. I immersed myself in farming,
allowing the horses to simply frolic for the most part, although
the Leadership Workshops (Harmony with Horses) I did give were
intense and inspiring for me. Regardless of where I turn my
attention, whether the dark earth where rotting stuff is good,
the sky where light and movement explode, or within where the
two are inextricably twined, I am never without at least one
step visible, at least one thought prevalent, or the power of
energy-in-motion apparent. Each of these bits of thought put
into writing is part of a larger piece, but isn’t that true of
all we do. My love to you all. Thank you for being a part of my
I go to stand next to Indie, placing myself opposite the
low-slung morning sun so he does not have to look into it. I
feel all my scattered pieces of Self pulling in, gathering,
rediscovering their intrinsic cohesiveness, as I breathe in his
horsey scent. He wraps his neck around me and nibbles at my coat
pocket. Then, he lowers his head to sniff my boots. I bend over
so my head is next to his left ear and gently run my fingertips
over the cheek bones on either side of his great Friesian head.
He lifts his head just enough to place his velvety muzzle next
to my own cheek so I can kiss it. We inhale and exhale together,
for a moment. Then, I walk away fully satisfied, filled with
love. I turn to look a good-bye to him and his ears swivel
sharply in my direction, his eyes both sharp and soft at the
From my desk I can see my son's black Dodge Avenger covered with
a thick layer of frost. The sun is just now hitting the car and
steam rises from its warming surface. Before my eyes, the frost
gives up its hold on the rooftop of the car. Out in the pasture,
though, it is still sunless and frosty. I let Missy out early
today. I want her to be happy. Her tiny black frame is like a
shadow on the grass. Eating grass is her favorite thing to do.
She is thin as a rail now, though, losing more weight every day.
It is like all her parts are giving up their hold on this earth.
I wept as I considered my having to make the call to the vet. I
weep now. I love Missy. I do not want her to leave. Over half a
century of a life with horses and I do not get any better at
this. I get worse. I cry harder.
Burnished sky, a metallic mixture of golden
sunlight reflecting off dawn’s lacey clouds
silhouetting the ridgeline of trees
like something out of an old western
It was the sound of 72 hooves pounding the ground as all 18
horses galloped down the valley towards me. I stood very still
and they poured all around me, leaping and rearing, bucking and
twirling. They never hit me or each other.
In my opinion, it is extremely important to never confine a
horse to a space smaller than the one you are asking them to
vacate. This will either cause injury to them or cause them to
Suddenly, like a light turning on, the belly of the clouds lit
up with a deep maroon behind the eucalyptus. It was like being
at the theater when they blink the lights just before the show
is to begin so everyone will take their seats. The color spread
out across the eastern horizon, now behind the pines as well. As
maroon shifted to crimson, a flock of pigeons burst from the top
of a tall pine and flew towards the rising sun only to fall like
black leaves onto the top of another pine. As they melted into
the silhouette of the tree, three ducks emerged from the south
with wings soundlessly whirring, their flight intent, our valley
inconsequential. The line of flight curved gently as they flew
past, like stars curving in the heavens.
As dawn approached, the moon faded into paler shades of blue and
wild turkeys called to each other. Another sip of tea…
One primary component to Spacious Intimacy, which is essentially
a sustainable intimacy, is what I call "open hugs". Whether
holding someone physically, or in your thoughts or heart, the
holding is still part of the dance.
Being a farmer, I participate with birth, life, and death
knowing I, too, am a part of that cycle. I swing and sway with
the movement of many, grateful for the wondrous newborn,
inspired by the creativity of every individual, and awed by the
infinite endings that lead to new births.
"If you get bucked off or kicked or bitten, you obviously did
something wrong, and that's just too bad. The horse, on the
other hand, is never, ever wrong". Ray Hunt 1929-2009
This is something I understand.
It has taken me decades to understand--thank goodness horses are
patient. Semantically speaking, I am not happy with the general
definition of "wrong". However, if wrong means I did something
that resulted in disharmony for myself and I have the power to
change it, then I am fine with being wrong (for now) because I
will be righter in a moment. :-)
…discovering where calm and peace reside within (I know that
sounds phoofy, but it is paramount here) is actually a guide to
greater creativity and joie de vivre!
We can only care for and nurture our "outside" world once we
acknowledge, nurture and care for the universe within. Attention
to this aspect of life is the foundation of sustainability.
Happy Holidays and Best
Wishes in the New Year!