Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Four hours with Boone and God



I did today exactly what was needed. I went for a four hour ride up in the mountain foothills with Boone and some friends. It's a wonderful place that is maintained by the local Muleskinners and the trails are just wonderful-challenging but never overly so. Boone did great and we went through our first streams together and waded in pools too. Many of the trails were steep and rocky, combined with wet footing and logs to cross so it was just a wonderful challenging day and so much fun. Every time Boone and I do any ride it is enjoyable, but these longer ones are so meaningful as they build us up as a team, and I'm always so proud of him just for being his calm stoic self.

Part of the trails are through private forest land and this is the only photo I took today. I am not religious and did not go to church as a child or young adult but the power of the best things of faith are embodied in Nature for me, and if there was ever an outdoor cathedral it is the forest. The old barn is a cathedral for me too, but old forests bring me onto hallowed ground. Looking up into the light bouncing off Doug Fir limbs, a statement popped into my head,

There must be God.

I do believe in God, but that statement came to me, strongly. Boone noticed things I did not, smelled and sensed what I could not. Perhaps that is God too, for him, but he needs not label it. I remember Joseph Campbell saying that we need the word "God" because we have to put a short description onto the entity that we can not describe in human words.

I needed this ride today and sometimes the beauty of the world is so overwhelming. Through certain parts of the forest, I could see coastal range foothills, and I wondered how many eyes were watching us as we rode though those paths. The horses themselves bring me great contentment. The sounds of feet hitting ancient rock and the sweat of the neck perfuming the cool air was worth thousands of dollars of psychotherapy. It was like it washed me, it didn't wash over me, it literally cleansed me and all the heavy thoughts I've had of late. Last night Martyn and I sat and talked a lot about giving up Pino Pie Day, and I was surprised how much it felt like a loss. I am very confidant it is the right thing to do, but it is a loss. The ride today reminded me of my small size in this universe, and another idea came to me,

If we had to walk in this cathedral before speaking how would it change our words?

The steady steps of my horse amazed me at times, and I daydreamed how I would most likely be slipping and tripping. Boone trusted me enough not to lead him into danger, carrying me four hours on slippery slope and never missing a step, never faltering or hesitating a turn.

I did not think about plans. I didn't ponder what might be in the future. I was just with Boone, enjoying the sermon of those trees and the light they cast on us and feeling pretty good there was a God.

4 comments:

Terra said...

"I was just with Boone, enjoying the sermon of the trees", that is poetic. I too feel God's presence in nature, in the faces of friends and family, and in church.

Katherine Dunn said...

I have gone to church on and off, depending on my city. I love the old cathedrals and feel love in them.

Lisa Hofmann said...

Oh, horse therapy is the best! Even before my mother died, I felt like I was slowly shedding parts of myself that were merely outside trapping ... not armor, but akin to that. Then my mom died and another massive piece of who I thought I was slipped away. The hard part is wanting to "know" but realizing I cannot know or predict or name, but that I have to simply open to the experience and allow it to transform me. Not sure if this makes any sense ... but what you share here, I so "feel" deep within me. And in my lowest moment this past week I knew I had to get myself to the stables and be with the horses. It has become my "reset" button and my church of sorts. xo

Katherine Dunn said...

Lisa I do empathize with that - I think loss strips us bare, maybe, and then we bring back what we liked, and shed what wasn't needed? I feel that way with letting go of Pie Day, for example-there are parts of the day that will be retained, but in a different format, name, etc....And yes, when my father, and mother died, it was a wobbly time for me, your term of shedding 'armour'-makes sense to me, I think we get stripped bare, like a fire over the prairie, leaving rom for native flowers.

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~