09 August 2009

Splendor In The Grass.

I absolutely adore artist Charles Wysocki. I could stare at his paintings all
day. In each one I always find something I did not see before. Even if I have
looked at the same painting a thousand times before. Beautiful little communities
with lovely families in settings that are eye candy for the soul.
And Mr. Wysocki always included animals of every kind
in his paintings. My kind of artist.
The town portraits always show daily living.
Nothing spectacular. Just people going about their lives.
Isn't it odd that somehow we find other's lives more intriguing than our own?
Our day to day trudge is often fascinating to someone looking in.
Each day I try and realize the splendor in my own life.
And I have to admit...I always find it.

Our day started out hot, steamy, and breezy. Not really a good breeze.
It felt like an oven door being opened and fanned. The humidity just hung in
the air, making the mountains look like they were covered in
a morning mist. I wish!
But it's alright. There is a good sign on the horizon. J has begun cutting wood.

He figures in 8 weeks we will be using our wood stove!
Which means Fall is right around the corner :)

But even in this sweltering heat we soldier on!
Because horses need fed and turned out. Stalls need cleaned.
Hay and straw needs replenished. Water troughs need cleaned. And baths need given.

And on and on, and on...
Just our daily lives.
But I love it. I wouldn't have it any other way.

I have been doing this for so many years.

So many mornings. And still, one of my very favorite things, is
walking in the barn for the first time of the day.
The horses are waking up, all standing in their stalls,
their manes and tails covered in straw
from bedding down over the night.
They all begin to nicker and chat. Because it's breakfast time!
The more noise I make, the noisier they become. Scoops of grain, vitamin bottles clinking,
and the hay cart being wheeled out.
The life of these four horses is pure joy to them. And to me.

Something so simple as eating breakfast is an event for these beautiful
animals. They savor it. Every day. Even though it is always the same. Each horse
has it's own menu, depending on age, weight, or maybe even being in-foal!
It is a pleasure in their lives they do not take for granted.
And they have friends. Visitors to the farm, each other, and a barn cat named Moxie.
Who bunks down with the horses every night.
And they love each other so much. Because they are their own herd. In the pasture
they stay together, just like in the wild. As one moves further away to graze,
the others follow.
And the stallion always keeps an eye out for them from his pasture.

Moxie always spends the night with one of the mares. She snuggles in the straw.
And she seems to choose a different horses to snuggle with every night.

As if not wanting to hurt any feelings.

And they never, ever step on her.
As they polish off breakfast, I begin getting their halters ready, so everyone
can go outside to enjoy their day and catch some sunshine. And with the clink of the
stall doors being opened, the chatter gets noisy. Such a little thing, the joy of going
out to graze. But to them, it is the biggest event.
Even though we do this routine each day.

Mares who are carrying an extra 100 pounds of baby, love to drink fresh water!
It just tastes better when it's outside. In a freshly scrubbed (by me!) and freshly filled
water trough.

It may be 97 degrees of blowing, hot wind, but this mare is
enjoying her morning to the fullest. They are full of such joy each day
when they are turned out. Trotting around, snorting, bucking,
kicking in the air. And then finding the perfect spot to graze.
And sometimes, they even have to nibble on the dead patch of grass. Because
you just never know. It might be the best thing you have eaten,
in the last 5 minutes!
And then you hear something in the distance. And because you still have
the instinct of your ancestors, you raise your head, put your incredible ears
(that can hear things we humans cannot) forward, and listen for predators.

And it is nothing that needs anymore of your attention. So you continue to graze next
to your herd.

He watches over his herd. He may stand in a pasture across from the mares,
but he knows their every move. If he cannot see all three mares, he will call to them.
They always answer back.

I never tire of watching them just be horses. They never laugh at me,
with my long hair tied up, and scrunched into a bandanna! (Dripping with sweat.)
My hot, humid, weather attire!
Because regardless of how I'm dressed, or what I look like,
they love me, for loving them.
They love us for taking care of them. The way they deserve to be cared for.
And I will let you in on a little secret. I adore watching J care for the horses.
(And our dogs and cats, for that matter)
He is gentle, kind, and takes everything in stride with a sense of humor.
He loves them as much as I do. like our dogs and cats, they are part
of our family.

Cadence loves to be bathed. He also loves the pocket
full of carrots J has!

And one of the best simple pleasures in this stallion's life?

A drink straight from the hose...Because it's the little things that count!
A bath would not be complete without a drink from the hose at the end.
It is his "cherry on top of the sundae".

And at the end of the afternoon, it's back to the barn.
To retreat to a clean
stall, with an automatic waterer, and a fan to stand under.
Oh, to be a freshly bathed horse and stand in the breeze and let your mane dry.
While you eat lunch that was prepared while you grazed outside!

Life never seems as hard after a day of caring for animals.

I think they have so much to teach us. Things are just so simple in their world.

A basic breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A nice, clean small house. A shower after a hard day of grazing! Fresh, never-ending source of water.

A breeze to stand in front of when Mother Nature swings summer in full force.

And friends, each other and even a barn cat.

And family. We, who care for, and love them.

And each other. Because they spend every hour of their lives with one another.

They nicker, whinny, neigh, and chat to get one another's attention.
They check on each other. In the pasture and in the barn.
Sometimes they even have little spats. Ears back with nasty glances!
But they are family.

Things can be simple in our world, too. We can appreciate our nice, small, clean home.
We can be thankful for an abundance of fresh, clean water. That we drink. Or bathe in.
And simple meals that nourish our bodies.
And leave judgement behind when it comes to appearance.
And appreciate our friendships. And know our families still love us, even if we pin our ears back, when we give a wicked little nicker!

Life really can be a Charles Wysocki painting. It is what we make it.

I choose my simple, little, life.

Isn't life wonderful?



Elle Bee said...

Misha! Beautiful post! I'm going to go back and read it through again because it was so peaceful and inspiring. Thank you for the glimpse into your life, and the glimpse into the lives of your lucky lucky horses. You and J are good people. So easy to see.
I'm so inspired to love my life and to enjoy it for it's simplicity because of all you wrote. My favorite line of the whole post: "leave judgement behind when it comes to appearance". That is something I wish we could all embrace. What a kinder world it would be.
Thanks for making my day Misha. Truly, a beautiful post.

Rural Revival said...

Oh Misha, what a beautiful family you have and how beautiful you are for appreciating what you have! Life is wonderful, isn't it? Thank you for reminding us to look inside rather than out to find our own happiness.
Be well. ~Andrea~

Flat Creek Farm said...

Thank you, Misha! I enjoyed every last word, and every last picture. What excellent reminders for us to be thankful for what we are blessed with! And, oh, to be a horse (or cat, or raccoon, or...) in your barn and pasture... what a wonderful life you have given them. And what a wonderful life you have! -Tammy

Heart2Heart said...


What I love about this post is it's simplicity to a life most of us don't know about or live in. To have the stillness of the morning just before you walk in to greet the horses and see your barnyard visitors is all very surreal to us.

It is a life I believe we are called back into living a much simpler life, not saying you don't have much to do, but to learn to just trust God in everything and just go about your day.

Oh how I wish fall were only 8 more weeks away, I guess it kinda is, but out here in California, I see about 10 more weeks before cooler temperatures become the norm and I would figure out heat wave isn't over anytime soon.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

What a wonderful post! I love Charles Wysocki as well; and Will Moses does some great stuff, too. Beautiful pictures; I felt like I spent the day with you :D

Marie said...

Oh! What a beautiful life! What beautiful scenery you have to enjoy every day. We live in NC and love to go for a ride on the Parkway and dream about having a cabin on a high peak.

Oz Girl said...

Beautiful post Misha, many of my thoughts are the same. I am forever thankful for our small home and our 26 acres, for the pasture our horses have, for the friendship that all our animals extend to me. I love Charles' paintings too.

Amen to "work on the farm". I know I'm working out with weights and cardio, but I also get much work just from taking care of the animals and property! Keeping all the stock tanks cleaned and watered seems to have fallen to me, but I don't mind, I rather enjoy doing it. I love filling them up with clear, clean and cool sparkling water for the horses.

Every night when I get home from work, the horses come up to the gate. They know our routine now that I am working, and that I get changed and come back to spend an hour or so with them in the pasture, just being there with them, petting them, giving scritches behind the ears, or putting some fly spray on.

Anyways, I ramble on. This was a wonderful post you wrote, reminding everyone to be ever-so-thankful for what they have, instead of always wanting more. :)

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Misha, what a lovely post with beautiful photos. I quite agree, one carries their happy with them; they don't find it except within.
It's said wood warms twice but I think it warms much more than twice. After all, it gets carried to the wood pile, carried to the house, ashes carried out...smile.