This morning I stood in our yard and watched the sun rise behind the windmills. As I looked up the newly built access road to the windmills, which I was told by the spirits of the farm to name New Hope Lane, I realized that I was looking directly into the future of the farm.
A horse in a paddock adjacent to our yard softly nickered and my heart instantly felt filled and comforted. For those of you who know horses, you will understand this. After spending the last 22 years intimately with horses, their sounds, both vocal and also from their breathing, are like an old friend. Every nuance of each breath and nicker is understood in my heart. When you’ve been around horses for a while, you learn to listen and read the subtle communications of their daily lives. Horses have a very specific nicker that they reserve for very special occasions. It is soft, gentle, loving, and it comes from the depth of their souls. I will share with you some of the occasions I have heard them use this sound and you’ll understand the meaning. In every horse birth I’ve witnessed, it is the first sound the mare makes when she turns to see her newborn foal for the first time. She reaches around, touches noses, and then nickers to them. It says to them, “you are safe, welcome to this world, what joy!” And the foal knows that sound instantly and responds. I always have thought what a beautiful sound that is to be the first sound you hear in this world. In the same vein, I have also heard horses utter this nicker as the last sound they make before they leave their bodies. It has not been at every passing that I’ve experienced this, but it has been at several. And when I hear them make that sound, I know they are seeing into spirit and are hearing, “you are safe, welcome to this world, what joy!” Many times when I’ve heard a sound in the middle of the night and worry something is wrong in the barn, I tiptoe down, open the door, and inevitably one of the horses will do that nicker. And they let me know “all is safe, all is well, rest easy.”
So this morning, standing with the rising sun, looking up New Hope Lane, and to the windmills that were just erected yesterday, I particularly took notice to the mare who gently nickered in the quiet of the morning. Her soft nicker echoed around the farm as the only sound that could be heard. It was like a tuning fork to my soul, reminding me where to focus my energy. I turned to her and she saw me as well. Nothing had to be said out loud. Our hearts were communicating in the moment. She said to me, “Do you feel the energy of the farm this morning?” I did feel the energy. It was of great hope and the promise of a new day. And like a movie playing from my memory, a flood of messages came in from so many animals who have blessed this farm. There was Tara, Arabian mare, who took me for a walk one day way out in one of our hay fields. She was so determined to go near the top of the hill. “This place right here is where I want to be buried when I die,” she said to me. I told her we didn’t need to talk about this just now. She turned to me, nuzzled my hand with her nose, and said, “oh, but yes we do dear.” The next morning she died. With great hesitation we buried her on that far off hill and it didn’t seem right putting her so far away from the barn. When I asked her why here, she replied, “this is where I will forever be connected to you and where I will see the future of the farm. Right from here.” Twenty years later now, that burial spot is directly in my backyard, right where I was standing this morning. And as I stood there, Tara came to me and said, “you see, from here I can see the entire farm. I can be closest to you. And from here you can look to the future of the farm. Never give up on hope.”
Then I remembered a morning a few years ago where I stood in this same spot and saw our goose Annie Perry and several ducks standing in the horse paddock in a row facing the rising sun. It seemed so ritualistic and important and I asked Annie what that was about. He said, “This is morning promenade. You always must give thanks to the rising sun. It is the hope and promise of the new day. You give thanks in advance for what you will receive. In the evening we have evening promenade and we face to the west and we give thanks for all we have received and look once again to the light and hope of the next day. Always we do this.”
So as I stood this morning, now years after Annie Perry has passed from our farm, I looked over to the horse paddock again and there was the morning promenade of ducks, all facing east, watching the sun rise over the windmills as I did, and welcoming the new hope of a new day.
My heart was filled with this message: Today is a new day of the future of this farm. This is the new day of hope. Not just for the farm but for the planet. Each morning as you watch the sunrise over these windmills and you gaze up New Hope Lane, let your joy of life flow free. Let the wind move your soul as it moves the blades of those windmills. Let your hope and vision spread from your heart to the world. The animals will be doing this with you. And if more and more of you do this, then hope will spread across this earth just as the wind does. These windmills are moved by the wind and power this farm. But hope is what they really spread. It is the power that comes from your hearts and empowers the world. Let your hope be the wind that stirs the trees. Let it be the vision that is enlightened by the rising sun. And let your hope be that energy that this farm sends out to the world.
Just after receiving that message, in the still quiet of the morning, the mare nickered again. And my heart understood, not just for me, not just for the farm, but for the planet she was speaking to: “we are safe, welcome world, what joy! All is safe, all is well, rest easy.”
For more information on the Spring Farm CARES alternative energy project, go to our Alternative Energy Page.