So yes, I have just created this empty space at the cost of a row of vines. You see, the horses need a space to train in, to learn precision. What I have created are two straight lines at the edge (or hedge), which once crossed represent a figure 4, a rectangle. Within the rectangle, there are two posts, identifying the mid-points of two circles, which, by following the circumferences, together form an '8'. So now I just need to spend some time in this space to fulfill my dream of exercising the horses with a sense of precision. You see, a sense of freedom is only achieved by identifying strengths within limits - limits that can then be extended progressively so that the dream may unfold.
Spring has come and our foal, Frida, was born on 1 April, so today she is six weeks old. And has she grown in so many different ways! Yesterday, I noted how she has extended her boundaries. Clearly, her reference point is still her mother, but now she will gallop at top speed up and down and around a big field, dancing, kicking, changing directions at the drop of a leaf. It is easy to see how we associate horses with flying: little Frida dances on air. But MUCH more than that – she already leads and inspires us to follow HER! How wonderful to recognise youth at its best – with a little help from 'her' friends.
When I was a little boy, my father would ask me to help and, like most little boys, there were occasions when I would hesitate and make a face but this didn't last long. He said, quite simply,
'Come with a goodwill or not at all.'
And that was the end of the matter. Or rather the beginning. To be out of favor with those we love makes life meaningless, leaves no life. The choice we all face is that simple; come with a goodwill or not at all.
Now, imagine that I was to discover that this principle is how a lead horse maintains harmony and success for a herd of horses. That is the option he gives to any horse and, given the other horse needs to be part of a community to survive, it must accept it or perish. It is no wonder horses fitted in here so well: we were brothers and sisters all the time, sharing the same vision and rule of life!
I didn't exactly choose to retire from academic life: like many others, because of the recession, my job was cut. It was inevitable. Yet, what is the recession but an indication that we need to change, to do something different.
Here, on the farm, the situation was very much the same. The market for wine had been destroyed, meat products successively banned and our forests burnt so that it was obvious that we could no longer leave the future to unfold in traditional terms. The renewal that must take place is in our hands alone.
And so like those before us, we take the bull by the horns, confident that we can not only benefit from the force of circumstances, prepared to play and get tossed into the air, but also land safely on the ground and secure events and prosperity for those around us.
And looking around, it is clear that the force is with us:-)
You read that 'attitude' is the key that is turned by trust, respect, honesty, humility, integrity, and authenticity when it comes to horses. But these are simply by-products.
These are not the vision. It is much simpler. It is about organic transformation – a transcending horse power which permeates from the micro cellular level to macro
level of human consciousness, an emerging meeting of our souls into a new dimension of well being. We struggle to find it, but it moves and empowers us.
We are groping around in the dark, searching for the next paradigm shift. Just like the foal waiting to be born, but it will be born... And what is the next paradigm shift, but a throw-back to an earlier way of thinking that was successful but has been largely discarded. It is what I call Celtic or both/and-thinking. We have this peculiar expression which says, you can't have your cake and eat it: that choosing one thing excludes another. But what sense does that have in terms of a cake? Clearly, it is there to nourish and be nourishing.
Both/and thinking means, therefore, by choosing one thing, it permits you to benefit not only in terms of close options but other ones as well. Being yourself in a crowd, gives purpose to the collective, adding benefit to you and others and making possible other objectives as well. So rather than seeing specialization as fragmented thinking it becomes part of the big picture and life today as well as tomorrow.
Thinking like this, you don't feel alone; you don't feel the urge to fill yourself with everything possible and grab and hold as much around you as you can in a forever failing attempt to create a feeling of security. Instead, you choose not to drown in a materialist sea of things: you feel secure in your relationship to others, secure in the knowledge that you are part of the greater good, secure in a process of joyful expectation. Like the foal here about to be born.
Yes, I'd like to imagine all different types of people coming here and becoming part of a more caring future. Oh, yes, wouldn't that be great! Let us be greedy for knowledge and well being. In this way, we are inquisitive, interested in all the wonderful aspects of living things, knowing that each one complements the other - a need and its fulfillment. Rather than tread on bounty, we tread softly and let the dreams of those around us turn into reality, such that together we might number all the little droplets of water, making up the fine falling rain that is drawing up the grass right now.