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Minnies Mane

I was perched on the rungs of the fence one afternoon, looking out at the pasture, pretending to carry out an important task.  Searching for horses, checking the health of the grass in the pasture.

That kind of task.

But in truth I was daydreaming.

I was floating with one of the hawks, circling the sky, rising and falling with the air currents keeping me aloft.

I was feeling the soft wind in my hair, the heat of sun on my face.

Pepper was nibbling away at her pan of grain; Chickadee was walking the fenceline, trying to get my attention, lest I forget to give her another hay cube.

Then Minnie arrived on the scene.

In this herd, Minnie is probably the least powerful of all the horses.

She is a skinny little sorrel mare that defers to everyone.

Because of her low spot in the pecking order, she’s skittish and more than a little mistrustful. I don’t blame her.

But she wandered toward me, recognizing me as the snack lady.

She has a deep, throaty nicker which doesn’t seem to fit with her small stature.

And she paws at the ground to let me know she wants a cube.

I like Minnie.

From my position on the fence, I could get an excellent view of Minnie’s mane. I was struck by its beauty.

Notice  how it parts and falls to both sides of her neck.

Notice the various colors – as if she’d gotten hightlights at the beauty parlor.

Once again, the horses reminded me of an important life lesson:

There is a spark of wonderfulness in each and every one of us; something remarkable.

Something beautiful.

Something unique.

It just takes looking for it.

At first glance, most observers might think Minnie was nothing more than an underweight, skittish old mare. But they’d be wrong.

First impressions are rarely the most accurate.

We live in an amazing world. Especially when we take the time to really see it.

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Two-trees

I have a long-term relationship with these two trees in the pasture.

I’ve photographed them in every season. I’ve walked beneath them. I’ve taken deep breaths when I see them – perhaps the very literal definition of inspiration.

 

They’re not the most beautiful of trees by many standards, but to me they are exquisite.

They are survivors, continuing to leaf out each year, providing shade and a green respite here in this high desert land in which we live. They have been home to hawks and a shady napping spot for Miss P.

 

They are yin and yang, each buffeted by the wind that whips across the land, so that they lean significantly. Notice also how they mirror each other. If we were to magically combine them, and perhaps straighten them up a bit, they would become one, fully rounded tree.

 

I love them just as they are.

They encourage me to be more gentle with myself and others. To accept that after my many years on the planet, I too lean a little from the winds that have shaped me, and my leaves may not be what I think they ought to be, or what they once were.

 

Here’s the thing: For each of us, trees and humans, we are quite simply what we are.

And often it’s far from perfect – especially the perfection of some erudite definition.

But when we look at ourselves with a more loving eye, perhaps we are able to see our unique beauty.

It’s there.

I promise you that.

As I promise myself the same.

 

My challenge to you, should you be so inclined to accept it, is to look around your particular world.

Find something that at first glance may seem quite ordinary. And then spend enough time with it until you can see how truly extraordinary it is.

Then offer a quiet thank-you, and let the beauty soak into your very pores.

Here’s the radical suggestion:

Do it again, this time with something else, perhaps something completely different from the first.

Continue to seek beauty in the ordinary.

How darned radical is that?

P.S. If you look to the very left of the photo, you will see Pepper and Chickadee making their way to the gate.

Time for Tuesday Beauty

 

Chicks

I was at the feed store the other day, replenishing my supply of hay cubes and horse candy for Miss P. and her pals. While I was waiting for my order to be filled I heard the sweetest little cheeping sound.

Off in the corner was a cage filled with chicks.

A lot of chicks!

Who knows their eventual fate? But for right now, in this very moment it was a reminder to stop, slow down and notice.

Pay attention to the world around me.

It was definitely a moment of grace.

There’s a saying about people getting older: “Well she’s no spring chicken anymore.”

I’d never given it much thought until I saw these little balls of fluff. Yellow, fluffy, and innocent, they opened my heart. I got it – the saying that is.

 

Chicks-2

Want a quick smile?

Spend a few minutes at the feed store with chicks. I guarantee it will lift your spirits.

 

We live in a beautiful world.

 

P.S. Good thing we live in the middle of town in a condo. I was dangerously close to adopting!

Time for Tuesday Beauty

 

“Work is not always required. There’s such a thing as sacred idleness.”

George MacDonald

White-horse-metal-shed

And aren’t animals experts at sacred idleness? We humans could take some lessons!

We live in a beautiful world.

Time for Tuesday Beauty

“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’m a sucker for a gorgeous sunset.

And my two old sweeties.

Often the most ordinary of things turn out to hold the most beauty.

The trick, I think is slowing down enough to really see them.

We live in a beautiful world.

Time for Tuesday Beauty

When I’m out feeding our two old sweeties, one of the blessings I receive on a near daily basis is to be up close and personal with Mother Nature.

Of course I don’t always realize the extent of the blessing until later, because I’m too busy at the time trying to stay warm during a snowstorm or cool on a ninety-plus day.

The sound of my complaining sometimes overtakes the beauty I’m receiving.

But then there are other days when I am struck absolutely breathless by something so simple as birds making their way across a blue sky, or the setting sun, or the glint of light in my sweet mare’s eye.

My work seems to be to forgive myself for my humanness and revel in it at the same time.

As my friend  Rebecca sometimes says, “Ain’t life grand?”

We live in a beautiful world!

P.S. Bud seems to be a bit better.
He’s out of the hospital stall and back in the pasture, which makes him a much happier Appaloosa.

Thank you for caring.

Time for Tuesday Beauty

I picked up this beautiful Talavera Tile dish on a recent trip to New Mexico. And quite by accident I set a fresh poblano chile pepper in it.

I really liked the way it looked.

There are times when something beautiful just sneaks up on you and thrills your senses.

This was one.

It is so often the most simple things that give me the greatest pleasure.

We live in a beautiful world!

Time for Tuesday Beauty

Sunset at the pasture

On this important day in America, I am grateful for the opportunity and right to cast my vote.

Peace to all.

We live in a beautiful world.

Time for Tuesday Beauty

 

“Slow down, open your eyes, and every living thing will tell you its story.”

~Dewitt Jones, Photographer

This sweet little aspen leaf was clinging to the window ledge outside my front door following one of our delicious, nurturing autumn rain showers.

We live in a beautiful world!

Time for Tuesday Beauty

Some days the pasture gives me extra special  gifts.

Things that make my heart go thumpity, thump in my chest.

And my spirit soar.

This was one.

We live in a beautiful world.

P.S. Happy Birthday Jeremy!!

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