horse stuck in mud

I recently came across this compelling photograph and story, though the event is not new.

As near as I can tell, it happened in February 2012 in Australia. But when I saw the pictures and read the story, I couldn’t let it go.

Perhaps you already know of it.

Nicole Graham and her eighteen-year-old horse Astro were having a lovely ride along Avalon Beach in Geelong, Victoria Australia.

That is until Astro got stuck in some quicksand-like mud and couldn’t free himself.

 That’s when the “big love” part comes in.

Nicole stayed with Astro, holding his head up for three hours while veterinarians and a rescue crew worked frantically to save him before the tide came in and brought with it certain drowning.

The expression on Nicole’s face says it all.

Stories like this always make me reflect on my own strength and courage.

Do I have what it would take to save one of my animals?

I want to think the answer is yes.

With all my heart, I believe the answer is yes.

But truly, we never know what we are capable of doing until we are in that very moment.

I’m sure this act of courage was nothing Nicole Graham ever gave one thought to. She simply reacted and did what was needed to save her beloved horse.

The root of the word courage is cor, the Latin word for heart.

Brene Brown, Ph.D. is one of my favorite authors/mentors. She suggests that the word courage might be more about acts of love instead of acts of bravery.

That was certainly true for Astro and Nicole.

And I hope for me.

And you.

Here’s to courage and more big love!