This morning at the farm, we took Anna and Cherish down to the big back pasture for the first time. They had previously been in a small yard off the side of the barn that would shelter them a little better and confine them a bit while they healed and gained strength. It was a chore getting Anna, the mule, down to the new pasture. Sarah, the barn manager, led her, but as you can imagine Anna was more than a little scared and all kinds of excited to be in a new place and took poor Sarah 'off-roading' a couple of times before she finally went through the pasture gate. Cherish, the horse, is much more subdued than Anna. She's had a longer journey to get back to 'healthy' . But even she stopped in her tracks a couple of times at the prospect of all of that wide open space, and had to be persuaded to move forward. Once she got through the gate and saw all of the field grass she commenced munching and was happy as a clam to just amble about sampling the different plants.
Anna, however, was ecstatic. She ran in big circles in the pasture, kicking up her heels and trying to entice Cherish to play with her. [This involved Anna charging Cherish and nipping her butt. Cherish would just give her a 'For-the-love-of-G*d-Anna-can't-you-see-all-of-this-grass-I-have-to-eat? I'm-busy! Bug-off!' look and resume perusing the buffet. ]Then Anna would come back to the gate and stand in front of us for a minute as if to say, 'Did you SEE how fast I was going?!' Then she's take off again for another lap around the field.
After being neglected and keep in a too small enclosure, having untrimmed hooves that prevented her from even walking properly and then confined for health recovery, this was the first time in her life (she's about a year old) that she was allowed to run! The absolute JOY was written on every part of her. Brought tears to my eyes. I can't think of a more significant way to begin 2012. May all of us find the simple things that give us unrestrained joy in the New Year!