From Our Neck of the Woods
“No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses.”
An author of one of the articles in this issue mentioned he had observed that I had a soft spot in my heart for horses. He is correct.
Horses speak to me of freedom. They are truth and poetry in motion. I feel that horses are unique and special. They are honest.
When searching for a quote about horses, I found the one above by Herman Melville. It speaks to my heart. I’m sure no human has ever understood me as much as a mustang named Desi (Desert Sands). Desi taught me more in two years about who I am than I had managed to figure out in over 60 years of living. And our little dog, Phyllis, regularly teaches me a great deal. To deepen all my lessons from Desi and Phyllis (and the dogs before her), on December 18, 2014, I met a newborn calf named Wish2.
Spending time with Wish2 as she’s grown into a beautiful adult heifer has deepened my appreciation for cows. But, more importantly, she’s taught me that I am small. Yes, small physically, but tiny and unimportant in the grand scheme of life. I can have Wish2’s full attention and suddenly the hay calls to her, she decides that a drink of water is important, or she chooses to rejoin her bovine herd members, and I’m left standing alone. Does Wish2 love me? Yes. She and I often stand in a circle of love. But she lives her life in the moment. Sometimes I’m part of that moment; other times I’m not.
The beauty of it all is that Wish2 is free of expectations and judgment. She is self-confident. She knows her place and her needs—hay, a pasture of green grass, water, and being part of a herd.
Do I know my needs? Am I honestly free of expectations and judgment of self and others? Am I confident enough to politely walk away when something else demands my attention? Can I say "no" in a kind manner and focus on the task in front of me?
The animals in my life are honest and non-judgmental. Often, when we are together, they find something more interesting than I am to them, and they are off. It doesn’t mean they don’t love me. They could return to me at any moment. The animals I share my life with are self-confident and, let me add, they are free of self-imposed limitations. Being with them forces me to stay in the moment.
So, yes, I have a soft spot for horses, and also for dogs and cows. I want to continue to learn from my animal companions, and to daily live in a confident and joyful manner, free from self-imposed limitations.
Thank you for your readership of Nature Photographer. We exist because of you, and it truly is a pleasure to talk with you when you call.
We wish you peace, love, and superb spring photography adventures. Marty and I send our best wishes to you for days that are filled with joy!