Monday, May 11, 2009
Mentor in Motion
Yes, that's Aaruba. He looks great, doesn't he? Like he could trot 50 miles, race for the finish line, and emerge with all A's from the ride vet. But he couldn't.
My Aaruba looks like that because of who he is -- not because of how he feels.
Sometimes, when it gets very bad, he shows the pain. In any other horse, I'd call the symptoms "mild." But Aaruba's pain symptoms were mild even when the colic diagnostics said he should have been thrashing on the hospital floor.
So, you'll understand if I worry.
There are a few, precious instants when I can almost forget. When the weight of dread, so familiar now that I scarcely know it's there until it lifts, is blown back by the force of his joy. When I remember what he is trying to teach me:
Live now, because now is all we have. Embrace the pleasures of sheer physicality. Run until sweat pours from your skin. Build muscle -- it looks good and feels better. Bask naked in the sun. Eat when you're hungry -- natural, nourishing foods. Quench thirst with water.
The dividing line between body and spirit is narrow indeed. Does it even exist? I think Aaruba would say not. So, do not only what is healthful, but also what is right and good.
Challenge your mind. Live with courage. Be prepared to fight, if you have to.
Say what you mean. Mean what you say. Respect those who deserve it. Ignore the opinions of those who don't.
Trust slowly. Love rarely -- but when you love, love deeply. Discover passion. Practice gentleness. Never give up.
In short, live as the best of horses do, for all the time you have. Like Aaruba.
Keep running, Buddy. I'm right behind you.
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