We hiked up a gold grass foothill in the far eastern edge of Milpitas. Not a tree, not even a trace of green on that hill. Just solid gold rolling up to the big clear blue sky.
Atop the hill was a herd of paint, alabaster white, and bay horses.
One of the whites perked up his noble equine head, and pointed his ears at us stumbling up the hill, gasping for breath toward him. I felt embarrassed that his grace bore witness to my bent over clumsiness in the piercing California heat.
Still gasping from making it to the hilltop, the equine magic increased in volume as several curious horses singled themselves from the herd and moved toward us.
One of the bay mares, my friend’s companion, walked over to greet my friend and check me out.
After slowly running her muzzle several times over my whole body – as if she were an elephant sniffing the remains of a beloved ancestor – I got to stroke her neck and hug her with my cheek pressed against hers. She closed her eye as we drank in the joy of connecting. I kept mine open not wanting to miss a beat of her beauty.
I casually asked her silently if she was, “Bricabrac,” the bay horse who took care of me as a child.
She immediately opened her eye which smiled into mine…with such penetrating familiarity that I have not felt since childhood.
Her eye closed again. I silently repeated my question…just to be sure of her answer.
Just like the first time, her eye opened wide with the gentle glow of affirmation. Again, she closed it as if to more fully embrace our bliss in being together.
I couldn’t resist asking her for the third time…just to let my mind be without a doubt sure of her answer. My heart stood by patiently for my mind to catch up to the mare’s third affirmation, which arrived in the same way.
Who knows. Maybe, reincarnation is real, if we mean it to be. Or maybe my friend’s bay mare, in her deep sensitivity to my longing, was simply accommodating me, the meaning my friend gave it, as we stood within the immensity of the horses.
Magic, as good as it gets. The childlike innocence of those magnificent, spontaneous power animals creating a wholly communion with us on that golden hill.
Another jewel I received: While the white horse – the one who watched us come up the hill – and I were in the zone with my leaning against his side, stroking ever so lightly his back, the bay mare came up from the other side, laid her chin down on the horse’s back, gazed into my eyes, and nuzzled my face with her sweet, soft muzzle.
I planted my lips on that soft spot for a very long time. It felt good to be home somewhere long ago.
If only I had a photo of them to share with you. If only.
But I know you know what I am talking about.
The wonder of being animals loving animals.
Not eating them. Not wearing them. Not riding them. Not bossing them around.
Just for the love of it.