Pastoral Ponderings

July 2024

It was very early in the morning and the coolest part of a June day in Arizona; I was rolling the trash can to the road. My neighbor was leading her mare and foal from their stall to a large round pen so they could enjoy more space and a pile of hay. As is typical, the foal was following mom very quietly and obediently when this quiet young foal had a spurt of excitement and spun around. The foal began to practice bucking and attempting to rear up but only got the front hooves about 8 inches off the ground. The foal began to dance around and then decided to run past the other horse’s stalls while nickering in that tiny foal voice. While the horses just stood and watched quietly the foal ran in circles having the time off its life. This foal was uninhabited, free, and enjoying life to the fullest if only for a few minutes. After this spurt of pure joy, the foal returned to mom’s side and walked into the round pen to enjoy a quiet breakfast.

I stood and watched. For a few minutes I too felt an excitement for these early hours while many were still asleep or starting their drive to work. I felt the foal’s joy and happiness while he or she danced and played as foals do. After I returned from placing the trash can on the side of the road, I began to ponder what kind of day I, as well as everyone else, would have if we took only a few moments in the middle of our disciplined day to step outside of responsibilities, expectations and disciplined routine to buck, rear, nicker and dance out of sheer joy. If we included in our day a moment to freely express ourselves. If we included in our day a moment to enjoy our body. If we included in our day a moment set our spirit free and turn our thoughts off. Following these moments we could then return to our routine with a joyful attitude.

I then began to ponder, when did we lose that joyful spirit and soul from our childhood? How did we force ourselves to believe that adults cannot be free, dance to the music of nature and feel the energy of the sun and a new day unless it was scheduled? We need to give ourselves permission to get rid of beliefs that trap us in mold so restrictive that we lose the love for living. I hope you will also ponder these questions and begin to dance.

Blessings, Rev. Gloria