For the past couple of months, we’ve been pasturing the horse in the southeast pasture. If his range of vocal expression more closely matched ours, I’m pretty sure he would debate the definition of “pasture.” Since the hard freeze we had back in early October, there has been a serious degrade in both quality and quantity of grass in the field. With his close grazing and the lack of fresh growth, there’s not much left. Basically, the one-acre field is a blotchy mix of tall dead stuff he won’t eat, absolutely bare spots where his pacing hooves have eliminated all vegetation and the in-between of tasty stuff nipped nearly to the root. The only pasture-like aspect at this point is that he does have room to run.
On Saturday, we moved Journey back over to the north pasture, which hasn’t been grazed since September. It’s not lush but compared to the other field, it’s a virtual smorgasbord. As soon as I led him in through the gate, he gave a little buck and snort. I was going to lead him around the field and review the boundaries. After that little bit of enthusiasm, I decided I’d just turn him loose and let him supervise his own re-acquaintance. Roping yourself to a happy horse carries a certain level of risk that I chose not to make a part of my weekend.
After I unclipped the rope from his halter, Journey dropped his head and started nipping at the fine-bladed bluegrass growing at the fenceline. Then he whirled and kicked and started chomping on the brome and orchard grass. He moved quickly, sampling one clump and another. Then he came back up toward me and grabbed some more bluegrass. Suddenly, he whirled on his backquarters and then launched himself out across the field, bucking and blowing.
As he galloped toward the northeast corner, I hoped that he would not just run straight through the thin strands of poly-wire and keep going. The way he was running, I thought me might not slow down till he got to Omaha. He veered off, though, and ran underneath the low branches of the big spreading walnut tree on the north line and circled back around toward me. For a few seconds it looked like he might just run headfirst into the utility pole standing near the southwest corner but he skirted around it, slowed to a trot and came back up toward me. He grabbed several mouthfuls of greenish grass and then tore off on another run, this time checking out the southeast corner of the small pasture.
He’d walk along, taking wads of grass and then moving on to another section. It seemed as if he was overwhelmed with the sudden abundance and wanted to be sure he was eating the very best stuff available. So, he had to sample as much as he could as quickly as he could.
Sometimes, I suppose our excitement can lead us to behavior that amuses, confuses or just plain annoys others. Sometimes they can’t see what the big deal is or why we seem to be so irritatingly happy about it. Maybe they don’t understand what it was like where we were; maybe they can’t comprehend the degree of blessing that we suddenly feel. Maybe we shouldn’t worry too much about their lack of insight and understanding.
Without being boastful or snobbish or arrogant, simply in the sheer joy of appreciation, we ought to celebrate our gratitude to the Lord. Sometimes, we may simply bow our heads in quiet confession of our blessing. And although it should never be for show or from arrogant indifference, when we really truly consider the sheer magnitude of what God has given us, the beauty of his blessings, how can we keep from kicking up our heels?