Emotional or spiritual healing can occur within the blink of an eye; a moment of clarity or certainty that is visible in some form. However most often, healing transpires over time in a series of instances that may not be detectable to the soul being healed. Such is the story of Jake.
Jake is a typical North American teenage boy or more accurately, a strapping young man. He possesses an abundance of extremely high energy, demonstrated by his ability to speak 300 words/minute, walk while eating, texting, facebooking, all performed quite naturally, at least to him. His laugh is infectious and he loves to laugh with that deep full bodied sound.
On previous visits to the farm, Jake had been moderately curious about the horses with a quiet hello as he passed by on his way to the back field to help my partner Steve with chores. His passion for hot cars, fast motorcycles, and extreme sports certainly outweighed any interest in the horses.
On this particular visit, I had a sudden and sure sense that he was suppose to spend time with the horses. I didn’t give it a second thought; after all, the horses have been the best teachers in following those “feelings” of intuition. I spoke to Steve about this sudden insight and my intention to steal Jake away for a few minutes. However, Steve had other plans for Jake. There were lawns to mow, leaves to rake and rocks to lift. Steve wasn’t interested in having Jake taken away to take part in something non work related. That was until Steve realized the tractor battery was dead. I thought, how timely that this convenient chunk of time was created for Jake. I love how the universe lines up opportunities.
Not sure if he would be willing to play along in my intuitive moment, I grabbed Jake and said “come on we are going to hang out with May.” I grabbed a plastic chair and marched through the other horses paddock to meet with May in her personal 24 x 40 space.
May is my 7 year old mare whom has been a part of our herd since she was 4 months old. I had chosen her from a photograph before I ever met her in person. There were a few fillies available all having the same sire. The fillies were located on a PMU farm in Bentley Alberta (Although not as popular now as back then, PMU farms were specifically set up to capture the urine of pregnant mare’s and sold to pharmaceutical companies for the creation of premarin – a hormone for post menopausal women).
Although May had been injured prior to our arrival on the farm, I was still firm in my decision that May was the one. We completed the necessary paperwork and before long, this little filly was being encouraged, or shall I say lifted into the horse trailer to begin the journey home. Not 5 km driving with her in tow, the name May eased into my awareness, with no obvious reason, it just was. I later learned from my mother that my Grandpa had a horse named May when he was young. As I rehearsed the name over and over, I thought of reasons why it was right. There was a particular catchy song by Rascall Flatts called “Mayberry.” So as it was, on occasion May is called Mayberry and sometimes it is delivered quietly in song.
Let me share my description of May’s characteristics to better understand who she is. May is, without a doubt, the lead mare in our herd. It was clear early on in her life that she was taken on the responsibility of being the leader. Although she has been challenged by other horses in various situations, she makes it crystal clear that she is the boss. As well as being the head matriarch she also has the most magnificent and loving heart. She is a gifted healer. Her presence is steady, quiet, and confident. Standing beside May feels like being cradled in a warm blanket and held safely. She has a nurturing way with all the people she works with that causes them to melt in honor and reverence.
I plunked down the chair in May’s paddock and told Jake to take a seat with the added challenge “don’t talk for about 10 min.’ He willingly sat with a whimsical smile on his face appearing to have little concern about being approached by an 1100 lb animal. May began her encounter by walking over slowly but intently until she approached Jake. He had an eager grin and his eyes expressed excited anticipation. May began checking him over by first sniffing his shoes then gradually working her way up every part of his body and finishing by nuzzling his short brushed cut hair. May thought Jake’s hair felt peculiar and interesting while Jake was beaming from ear to ear careful not to make a noise and interrupt his 10 minutes of silence. Time stood still.
May’s nose dropped back down to Jake’s left knee and for the next several minutes, she couldn’t help but fixate here. All within a 2-3 inch span, she began rhythmically moving her head from side to side and opening her mouth while tensing her jaw. She began to bear her teeth which for a split second, I wondered if she would bite. I knew better then to question May’s healing techniques, but I had never seen her react this way. These movements continued intensely for several more minutes with the occasionally sneeze from May signifying the release of energy. As time passed I began to wonder why this was happening, what was it about his left knee? I was initially puzzled but I knew there was a story; there was something that she sensed.
In actuality, there wasn’t much figuring to be done and quite honestly, in situations like this (the horse/human kind), I know better then to get my head involved. I have learned to trust the process and the story will unfold.
Just as I began to breathe again and let go of my thoughts, the answer came to me, I knew what it was. I knew exactly why May was fixated on this small but significant area on Jake’s knee. I could barely contain myself then realizing that close to 10 minutes was up. The first thing I asked Jake was, “When you were hit by that car a year or two ago, where did it hit you?” His young eyes opened wide. As if in slow motion, he uttered the words my left knee, the bumper of the car hit right above my left knee right where May was focusing. (He was standing outside his residence with some friends when a young driver intentionally drove into the group of boys). He was excited, shocked and even perplexed at the idea that a horse could sense an injury and ultimately enact some type of healing to the area.
I went on to explain to Jake that when there is trauma in the body, the physical healing may take place but often there is an emotional blockage still remaining in the body associated to the trauma. I watched Jake, still somewhat bewildered, nod in agreement. My sense was that Jake found the interaction intriguing and unusual but I bet he contemplated his experience long into the day.
Witnessing the magical connection and healing between May and Jake shouldn’t surprise me, but I am left in a state of awe yet again. As humans we tend to look for an immense event or observable sign that a part of us has healed, but what I believe is that it is these little moments, whether we are aware of it or not, that are the true healing moments. Whether Jake “knows” it or not, a part of him was healed that day.