Saturday, February 19, 2011

What Do the Trees Say?

The wind is howling through the trees again today. This winter, I have been very aware of the forest that hugs the back of our land. I often think that it rests an arm around us to keep us safe. The last six weeks have been all about the forces of nature here. We’ve had snow beyond our wildest dreams, followed by ice and power outages. At one point, the branches of the trees were coated with ice. When I walked out to the barn late one night to give the horses more hay, the forest was cracking and rattling and making so much noise. The trees were talking. The next morning, the wind was softer, and the conversation was more like a whisper.

The horses have had a really hard time, not being able to run at all or even walk very far into the pasture. The snow was almost as high as the fences. As everything melted, the ground that was cleared turned to ice. Silk slipped and almost fell a couple of times, so she’s sticking close to the barn. I am so thankful that both of the girls have remained in good spirits and are taking this all in stride. Every time I get cranky or frustrated, I go out and spend a few moments with them to restore my equilibrium.

It was so warm the last few days that I was finally able to take off the horses’ blankets. I was shocked. For the first time, Silk looked old to me. She seems frail, and we will have to work to get her back in shape when the snow is gone. I can’t believe that she will be 23 in April. Yesterday, as I brushed her, I was thinking back on all the cycles of all the seasons that we have been together. So much has happened in 13 years.

I am feeling that the lessons I have learned in my life keep circling back to make me go deeper and see more each time I face them. Watching the birds and the animals get through this difficult winter reminds me that no matter how great the challenges are, it’s our spirit and our will to live that helps us find the strength to move forward.

Looking around at all the political turmoil in our country and around the world, I am witnessing cycles of change that are much larger and have a greater impact than what’s happening in my small universe. Some are uplifting and some are frightening, but all are beyond my control. Yet, if we can only stay true to our own compass, treating everyone around us with kindness and doing what we can, we will collectively improve this tired old earth. I am constantly aware of all the bright, good people that come in and out of my life each day, making a difference even when things get really tough.

Listening to the wind this morning, resilience is the song that the trees are singing to me.


Lori Skoog said...

Victoria. I love the conversations you have been having with the wind. Starting yesterday, we have been in a wind advisory (up to 50 mph) that is on until 6pm tonight. We have had a lot of snow, but you have had A LOT OF SNOW! Your attitude is amazing and I love the way you see all the goodness around you.

I have had a geriatric group of horses for years. PC will be 32, Berlin 27 and Abbe 12. Do you feed your ponies beet pulp? Maybe your 23 yo needs her feed upped with this crappy weather. I use beet pulp pellets and soak them (a couple of hours minimum) until all the water is absorbed and they fluff up. All the horses here get a heaping cup am and pm. It really helps. 23 is not that old...I'm sure she will get back to herself once this weather goes away.

Kate said...

I love the sounds that trees make - here we have few and just the sounds of the wind itself.

Glad the horses have coped with the difficult winter so far - we're all waiting for spring.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

You folks up north have had a very challenging winter, and I don't envy you. Glad we're starting to come out the other side.

Ditto on the beet pulp recommendation. Val gets a warm mash every night :)

The worries of the world can be very overwhelming. I agree with your wise words. If you can't do anything about it, best to let it go. The only thing we can control is how we act in the world. Think globally, act locally :)

detroit dog said...


juliette said... is really the only thing. You have been through a lot with that crazy snow, and so have your sweet girls. I love the image of the woods wrapping its arm around you to protect you.

Our wind is whipping like crazy outside as I type this and I have suddenly found comfort in knowing that it is drying out the over-soaked ground. Just tonight my mom and I were discussing how perfect nature is when all along I questioned it. Now that I am older I am finally understanding its plan.

I love the idea of you going out to be with the horses to restore equilibrium. Perfect.

Grey Horse Matters said...

This winter has been hard on all of us humans,equines and our other animals.

I like your conversations with the trees and the nature surrounding you. You have a special way of looking at ordinary everyday occurrences.

I'm sure Silk will be back to her
old self once the spring comes and
she can get out and work a little. Stay warm.

p.s. J. lost Molly last week due to her accident.

Victoria Cummings said...

Arlene - I'm so sorry about Molly. She was an angel dog and I can imagine how hard it is for J. right now. My heart is with you guys.

Oak in the Seed said...

I must turn off the television to avoid the details of terrible events far beyond my control. It just adds to winter depression. Far better to chat with the trees who have a wisdom far beyond ours.

Máire said...

Yes, tuning in to nature helps ground us amidst the turmoil of this world. Our trees talk too.

Rising Rainbow said...

I noticed the other day that my first foal ever, Dandy is looking old for the first time. I think it is just his lack of condition in this winter but we'll see come spring how he fits up. Sad to even notice at all.

I agree with you about the world stage. It can be so overwhelming to watch and listen to what's going on. I try to stay focused on my little portion of it hoping that eventaully is will all trickle down and the world will become a kinder, safer place too.