Celebrate and Enjoy

November and December are the months Americans set aside to celebrate and enjoy time with our loved ones. We have rituals around sharing food and abundance with one another. We make a point of enjoying ourselves, indulging ourselves in some cases (just one more piece of pumpkin pie, I’ll do an extra 10 minutes on the treadmill on Monday, etc.) Here in the Midwest, it may also be the human version of what the squirrels do at this time of year ‐ they uncover all the buried nuts and other choice tidbits, gorge themselves on what they can eat, and stuff the rest in their nests for the cold winter ahead.For those of us who have yards, it is also the time of year when we conduct our yearly ritual of cleaning up leaves and getting outside ready for winter. Since I’ve been outside doing a fair amount of that, I’ve had the opportunity to observe our horses and their antics as the winter approaches. They have given me a whole new perspective on celebration and enjoyment that I’d like to share.Celebration has a lot of meanings depending on who you are talking with. For example, it could be a formal event such as a birthday party or as simple as sitting down to dinner with a loved one to celebrate an anniversary. I was outside one day, and observed the horse version of celebration. It was a beautiful, breezy fall day, and I saw my horse Cheyenne stick her head up, and break into a dead run from a standstill. Her pasture buddy Rohan was right behind her. She bucked, she squealed, she stopped, twirled, and ran in the opposite direction. Rohan reared, bucked, and pranced (he is after all a retired show horse, so he always does things with a touch of elegance). I have seen them run before when something startled or frightened them, but their body language did not indicate fear or anxiety. The horses did this for almost 15 minutes, and it was absolutely stunning to watch. The emotion I got from both of them was sheer joy. They were doing their celebration dance in honor of a beautiful day.I had another opportunity to experience things from the horse perspective this morning. I let both horses out of the barn, and they found a favorite spot, plopped down, and rolled. They did not just roll once and get up. They reveled in the experience. Rohan cannot roll all the way over, so he laid down, really ground himself into the dust (including his head), got up, laid down and did the same thing on the other side. He did this at least twice on each side, then got up, shot straight up in the air (all 4 feet off the ground simultaneously), then began calmly eating hay. Cheyenne, being a full figured, talented girl, can roll all the way over. She did so several times, grunting the whole time. While the logical part of me worried about colic, another part of me enjoyed watching this big creature wallow and snort and thoroughly enjoy herself.It occurred to me that because animals are so intimately connected with Earth and Nature, they are able to respond with honesty and clarity to simple things like a warm breezy day. They are able to truly bond with Mother by encasing themselves in Her. We often say that animals are “in the moment”, meaning that they are fully present at any given point in time. For animals such as horses, this is rooted in survival. Yet, our horses will lie down in the sun and take a napfor short periods of time. Cheyenne will lie flat out on her side and snore. Our dogs and cats love to lie in the sun outside and snooze too.As we humans prepare to spend time with our loved ones in celebration and enjoyment, perhaps we can take a lesson from our animals and attempt to be more present and in the moment. Perhaps our celebration is as simple as sharing how important someone is to us, our enjoyment is seeing them smile at us. Now, about that pumpkin pie I’m having tonite….never mind, I’ll go to the gym on Monday!A gentle reminder for those who live with animals. Holidays can be stressful for animals as well as people. Be sure to talk with them, let them know why you aren’t home as much, that people are coming to visit. Allow animals who are shy or noise sensitive to retreat to a quiet area of the house. If you are considering bringing a new animal into your home, please WAIT until after the New Year when things are calmer.Enjoy the Holidays, be present to those you love and who love you, and make sure to take a moment to just enjoy the sun.Cindy & Terri and our 4 legged family

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One Response to Celebrate and Enjoy

  1. cindy says:

    Thank you, glad you enjoy them!

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