“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.” – Henry David Thoreau
This week I’ll write about my beloved Wyatt. More frequently known as “Mr. Blueberry”, he’s the demo model you’ll often see in videos posted on the Moonsong Facebook page. His baby eyes, crooked blaze, pink nose, and spherical body make him especially recognizable, in my humble opinion.
Before he was Wyatt, he was “Freedom Fighter” at Days End Farm Horse Rescue. Before that, who knows what he was called. He was part of a large Maryland impound of mostly very well-bred horses, some of whom had been show-stoppers at American Quarter Horse Congress, but who’d been severely neglected and left for dead. Wyatt was in despicable shape when he arrived at the rescue, weakened to the point of needing a sling to stay upright (and alive). He received around-the-clock care as he fought through emaciation and a badly infected impalement injury to the throat.
Once he’d beaten the odds and recovered, it became apparent that he was a total lovebug. He almost stayed as an ambassador (life-long resident) at the rescue, but poll pressure and farriery caused him anxiety that resulted in rearing, so for his long-term safety and well-being, he was adopted out. I then became the lucky owner of one of the most wonderful horses on the planet.
Wyatt is the living definition of a “Steady Eddie”. During a full moon, I’ll take him out deep into the woods, bareback with a rope around his neck. He’s ponied countless nervous, defiant, and young horses and is a better teacher for them than I (or any human) could ever be. He’s carried fearful or first-time riders safely for miles, gifting them with confidence and joy. He finds his place easily in the hierarchy of any herd – usually at the bottom of the totem pole, a gentle and obedient friend to all.
To me, he’s like a stuffed animal who’s come to life. I can’t help but kiss his huge, squishy cheeks every time I see him.
This past summer, Wyatt and I had a freak accident. Here’s an interesting tidbit: the night before, I dreamt that I had died. I saw each of my family members and I knew their grief was the result of my carelessness. I woke up, shook it off, and went about the morning chores. There was just enough time to take Wyatt for a spin. In jean shorts and a baseball hat, I hopped on bareback. I had a strong feeling that I should get my helmet, but I ignored it. It wasn’t until the helicopter ride to the hospital that I remembered that little voice of reason, and later in a CAT scan tube that the dream came back to me.
Not to be too dramatic, but this wasn’t the first time I’ve almost left this world. Many of you have probably had similar experiences, or can imagine, and you know that desperation emerges when we are faced with our mortality. Any resentment turns quickly to regret, and we yearn frantically to tie up loose ends. We beg for a moment to tell others how deeply we loved them, to thank them for who they were to us, to apologize for ourselves.
Our senses heighten and we become acutely aware of our physical reality. At the same time, our consciousness expands. We feel what is most internal, the core of our being, the willful “self” designed to live; and yet, our growing fragility humbles us to a destiny that we will never control…and to whatever it is that occupies that eternal, immeasurable space.
Ironically, the very things we ought to say to each other NOW are the ones we avoid in daily conversation! Real love requires vulnerability, but we fear consequence. We don’t want to seem silly, or we worry our feelings won’t be reciprocated, or our grudges hold us back. So, we stifle the songs in our hearts. What good is that? Every blissful, boring, and painful moment on this planet is a miracle. Each day is one we’ll wish we had again.
I took Wyatt for a stroll down the lane last week. He put his nose between my shoulderblades when the neighbor’s horses came running to the fence. My heart ached. It was so easy to say, “I love you, Mr. Blueberry”. Nothing else matters. He’s saved me in so many ways.
If you are reading this, thank you. Thank you for being in my life. Thanks to your beautiful, perfect animals. I love you more than you will ever know.