Much of my time lately had been taken up with the Catching Game. Either playing with Journey, or trying to catch Dove. I've already touched on my "revelations" about my technique, but that stems partly from my attitude. I have just started reading a book about spirituality by Frank MacEowen. It's called The Mist-Filled Path, and so far I like it very much. I had an "a-ha!" moment today when reading this passage:
I slowly came to understand that when approaching nature and spirit, one must enter these realms with a gentle openness of heart. We cannot make demands when encountering the sacred world. It is the overly analytical perception of reality, as well as the belief that we are somehow owed an experience, that immediately exiles us from the richness of the numinous power around us, within us, and within the earth. We have to be open.
And also this one where the author quotes from a conversation he had with an Ojibway man about moving in nature:
"The Four Leggeds and the Winged Ones live to a different rhythm. Theirs is the rhythm of soft eyes and soft feet: Two Leggeds have hard eyes and hard feet. When most humans go into the forest they enter with so much of the world on them that any possibility of feeling the sacred is removed. When we go into the forest we must become soft like the animal people and the tree people."
Yes, I have been thinking a lot about positioning myself here of there, about timing, release and draw. All these things are important. But so is attitude. I would not hesitate to say that I think of Horse-Man-Ship as a spiritual practice in my life. But mostly I "have so much of the world on me" and am so direct line, that I abandon spirituality in the presence of horses, just when they most need me to have it.
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My relationship with Dove continues to develop in baby steps. We have now moved the herd to the next grazing cell. It opens almost directly onto the water trough area, which is where I generally offer morning bucket feeds. This has made it easy to get the horses in for feeding. Dove continues to be skeptical, and nervous of herd life. She is a bit of a loner, so far, and doesn't care for being in close quarters at feeding time. I have been going out of my way to be her guardian and protector. She's obviously taking this in with some surprise and relief, so I will keep up with what I'm doing.