apples, horses and treeforts...

We were on our way home last night (Kami, Aly, Taylor and myself) when we passed by a horse farm owned by someone in our church. It's a huge piece of land filled with rolling hills, fields, streams, aged trees, rock fences and old barns. I wasn't sure the guy would be home, but I wanted to go feed the horses over the electric fence with the girls. (it's debatable as to whether feeding horses over an electric fence is considered child abuse, but for the sake of this story, let's both assume that it's not...that it's perfectly sensible and rational). As we drove up the driveway that lasted for what seemed like a quarter mile, we finally reached the barns. The man was home and quickly led us over to an apple tree that was dropping apples all over the ground. He called in the horses out of the field and in a matter of seconds you could hear this eerie thunderous rumbling from the west. Eventually the horses came over the hill and barreled toward us at a scary pace. It was a rush to watch them effortlessly gallop, their muscles rippling with every stride. As the came to a hault in front of us, my daughters let out a sigh of relief like they had been holding their breath under water. We started thowing apples over the fence and watched as these horses picked them up with their lips and crunched into them with their front teeth. The sound of horses eating is one of my favorite sounds in the whole world. I don't know what it is about it...I could listen all day long to a horse eating vegetation. It's spellbinding.

We ate some wild peaches together (horses won't eat peaches) and played with two goats that looked like they were seconds away from going crazy and bucking us out from under their beloved apple trees. I stayed close to my girls just in case I had to step in and show these goats where they fit into the food chain. They ended up being quite gentle and accomodating...goats are nice.

Then we headed back to this tree fort that this man had made for his daughter. It was 35 feet in the air and crafted around this huge oak tree. The steps leading up to the suspended tree house where much like the steps leading up to the tunnels at McDonald's playland. They were built in such a way that if you fell, you would only fall five feet at the max. They went back and forth leading all the way to a little hole in the bottom of the fort. We all made it to the top and spent some time watching some turkeys and talking about how cool it is to live with the squirrels. They girls were blushing it was so exhilerating for them.

When we carefully made our way to the ground again, the guy asked Kami if she wanted to drive the four wheeler contraption...her eyes widened as she gleefully accepted the invitation. He taught her how to press on the gas pedal and the brake...her first attempt to move forward just about sent us all sprawling off the back...over time she mastered the art of transportation. If Nirvana exists (which I'm not saying it does), my daughter was transported there momentarily. She blurted out almost unconsciously, "Dad, I love you. I really love you." though I had done nothing to warrent that affirmation. She was simply driving this all terrain vehicle and just uttered those words while she was driving across a field. I thought that was interesting.

We left the 100 acre woods and found ourselves back at the Holdridge ranch again. As I put them to bed, I was reminded of how ripe life is just beyond the side of the road, the ditch that seperates the fast paced life from the idyllic wonders of the forest. Just beyond the gravel of the roads shoulder there is a world all its own filled with apples and horses and wild turkeys and treeforts and peaches and barns and stray cats and hay bails and stables and manure piles and broken down tractors and oak trees and rock fences. It is a world that reminds me that not every square inch of creation has been overtaken by the tyranny of modernity. It brings me refreshment even today to know that. I hope my daughters never forget those sights, smells and sounds...they are the echoes of Eden.


warriorpoet9 said…
i understand what you mean about listening to horses eat...and i also understand that there is no way to describe what it is that is so mesmerizing.
pianoman said…
how do you do it?? you've put my heart into words again...

that's a pretty strong statement, i guess, but such is the strength of the emotions stirred up inside of me by these pictures of heaven... indeed, this farm that you tell of is my idea of heaven, albeit one i hope to have one day while i still walk this earth...

is it for sale...?
Lloyd said…
How awful that the Rosenblats lied about their story and that the publishers and movie makers fell for it. Boy in the Striped Pajamas, which was a great book and now movie, never pretended to be true. The Rosenblats, like Madoff, are harming the good Jewish name and it's terrible.

I read a New York Times article about Stan Lee and Neal Adams the comic book artists supporting another TRUE Holocaust love story. There was a beautiful young artist, Dina Gottliebova Babbitt, who painted Snow White and the Seven Dwarves on the children's barracks at Auschwitz to cheer them up. Dina's art became the reason she and her Mother survived Auschwitz.

Painting the mural for the children caused Dina to be taken in front of Dr. Mengele, the Angel of Death. She thought she was going to be gassed, but bravely she stood up to Mengele and he decided to make her his portrait painter, saving herself and her mother from the gas chamber as long as she was doing painting for him.

Dina's story is true because some of the paintings she did for Mengele in Auschwitz survived the war and are at the Auschwitz Birkenau Museum. Also, the story of her painting the mural of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on the children's barrack has been corroborated by many other Auschwitz prisoners, and of course her love and marriage to the animator of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs the Disney movie after the war in Paris is also a fact.

I wish Oprah would do a story about Dina and her art not about the Rosenblats who were pulling the wool over all our eyes.

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