Saturday, May 19, 2012

Love Is In the Air

Maybe because we are enjoying the most fabulous, blue-sky days in May, my thoughts have been turning to love.  I came across a quote from George Washington Carver: “Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough.”  As I was grooming Siete yesterday, I decided to make a commitment to loving her more, since I often feel that I love her mother too much and Siete feels it.  This makes me wonder what kind of secrets she has that might be revealed if I give more of myself to her.

My daughter is reading John Steinbeck in her English class.  And she is now at the age where boys and crushes and the first pangs of love are swirling around among her friends. She watches them with amusement and astonishment, not having experienced these feelings yet herself.  So, we have had an on-going discussion on this subject, to which John Steinbeck has made an unexpected but helpful contribution.  Last night, I discovered a letter that he had written responding to his son, Thomas, who had fallen in love.  It was so appropriate and charming that I shared it with my daughter.  Here is what Steinbeck said: 

“There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you—of kindness and consideration and respect—not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it…The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it…It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another—but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good…And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens—The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.”

John Steinbeck in a letter to his son, Thom.

I realized that what Steinbeck was saying really applies to everything and every creature that you love.  One of the other interesting things about a love that has the duration of many years is that it ebbs and flows.  So, with each season that passes, my relationship with my little horse changes depending on how much I am willing to put into it.  We may not have spent much time together over the last few months, other than the day-to-day routine tasks that I do to care for her and Silk, but no ground was lost.  I can start right now to reaffirm how I feel.  If I love her enough, she will know it.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Wonderful letter by Steinbeck.

I'm sure Siete knows you love her. I do understand how you feel about maybe not loving her as much as you do Silk though. I've often had these same feelings about Dusty and Blue. I don't think that I love them as much and have the bond with them that I did with Erik. He was my once in a lifetime horse and I can't replace that. I'm thinking that you have the same bond with Silk.

Maybe if we try harder we'll be able to love them even more than we do and forge a different kind of bond with them. It's certainly something to work towards.

Lori Skoog said...

I have a feeling that Silk and Siete have always felt your love.

Equine SS said...

I think (and hope) horses feel our love in the day to day care, even if we don't have time to work with them.

Oak in the Seed said...

Beautiful insights into the nature of love and what to trust and when. (I usually associate John Steinbeck with more depressing things, truth to tell).
Sill is your soulmate. Siete is carving out her own place.

billie said...

I think our connections with horses can be different while still containing a great deal of love.

Keil Bay is definitely my heart horse, as many people refer to that one horse who seems meant for his/her person in every way. But if I look at my relationships with the other horses and donkeys here, they all share love but the connections are simply different.

Salina and I share a deep connection that is more like a sisterhood - we are both female and we both experience cycles and have both experienced motherhood. We also have similar personalities - watchful, slightly bossy (smile) and liking order around us.

With Rafer Johnson, the older of our two donkeys, I feel a pure acceptance and his uncanny ability to just gaze into my eyes and radiate calm.

I love all these equines dearly but they each bring something different to me, just the way different people in our lives do. It's not about loving more or less as much as it is recognizing and celebrating the different nature of the connections.

Anyway, love your post and am thinking you and Siete are working on exactly what your special connection is - she seems to me to bring a whole different level of spirit into your life! Where Silk bonded and trusted you and that is so secure at this point, Siete has had a different life - all with you so never pushed too hard or mistreated - so maybe her confidence in the world is greater and doesn't require that deep bond you have with Silk.

Pondering here b/c I'm so intrigued with this whole topic! :)

Victoria Cummings said...

I thank all of you for your perceptive comments.

Billie - You bring up something about Siete that is very helpful for me. She does have great confidence since she's never been mistreated or forced into anything. She also has a very strong spirit that only yields if she thinks it's a good idea. And she does share different character traits with me than Silk does. Plus, she's definitely jealous when I pay more attention to her mama. Siete and I have spent 10 years working on our bond, and I do tend to gravitate towards Silk so I'm trying to balance out the time to give Siete more of me.

Ophelia said...

There are so many kinds of love and I know our love can stay strong for some people and horses that we are not as drawn to be close to in the moment. Love can be so quiet and steady.