ALL THINGS LITERARY. ALL THINGS NATURAL.

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Craving the Wholesome

Dozens of horse books are packed and ready to haul to Wyoming for the 9th annual Literature & Landscape of the Horse Retreat - from Joe Camp’s The Soul of a Horse, to Marguerite Henry’s Misty of Chincoteague, to Laura Hillenbrand’s Sea Biscuit.  New handouts are printed and stuffed in the registration packets - from information on 15,000-year-old cave paintings of horses in France, to information on the few remaining Cherokee and Choctaw horses descended from those that walked the Trail of Tears.  With so many guests returning year after year, Sheri and I work hard to bring something new to our retreat at the Vee Bar Guest Ranch.

Why do so many of us return?  Is it the call of Wyoming's high mountains and spacious grasslands?  Is it our mutual love of horse stories, or our love of the Vee Bar's willing horses and their untamed brethren at the Deerwood Wild Horse EcoSanctuary? Maybe it's the cute young women wranglers and the old hands like Tommy who have tall tales to tell with every turn in the trail.

Surely, it's all these things, but to talk about any of these things without talking about the wholesome Wyoming family who welcomes us back each year would be like talking about The Man from Snowy River without mentioning Down Under.

No doubt one of the paramount reasons so many of us return is because we hunger for wholesomeness. Our souls are weary of sordid news and hopeless forecasts. Our shoulders are not broad enough for the world's worries, yet we would eagerly embrace the chores of a single day if given a chance. And here, with this Wyoming family, we can drop off the grid and back into the heart of what matters. Family. Animals. Land. Hard work. Laughter. Song. Friendship. Fresh air. Each day enough unto itself. Each crisp night starlit and shining bright.

Sound too idyllic? Not to worry - our battered lives could use a bit of the idyllic. We've all but forgotten what Merriam-Webster calls "the well being of mind and spirit, and the "vigor of normal domesticity."

This is what I am most grateful for - the chance, for one week, to share what I learned to love about life lived on a piece of land that is cherished and cherishing, land that raises animals and children in equal measure - both running half wild, half the time, trying to catch the joy that's born into each day. Lasso a bit of that hope. Build a big loop and swing your lariat for all it's worth.

5 comments:

Donna Fleetwood said...

Page says it so beautifully if brings tears to my eyes. "No doubt one of the paramount reasons so many of us return is because we hunger for wholesomeness. Our souls are weary of sordid news and hopeless forecasts. Our shoulders are not broad enough for the world's worries, yet we would eagerly embrace the chores of a single day if given a chance. And here, with this Wyoming family, we can drop off the grid and back into the heart of what matters. Family. Animals. Land. Hard work. Laughter. Song. Friendship. Fresh air. Each day enough unto itself. Each crisp night starlit and shining bright." Donna Fleetwood

Shana Gray said...

<3 The reason for coming back is the draw to everything noted above. I long for the connection developed with the other women, the horses, the energy of the land, the ranch, the big sky...and finding myself as I did after my mom died a few months prior to coming. One day I will return, and hopefully while I am still able to sit on a horse.

Alison said...

Oh Page! Thank you SO much for this beautiful post! My grandson and I had the time of our lives there's year ago... He got to do ranch chores with Tommyand Brent let him keep the hat he borrowed all week made in Lusk Wyo! You captured what is so pure and wonderful about that place! Would you Please say a big hello to Brent and Tommy from both Brecken and me??Also if Sarah and Jacky are there please tell them hi too. My husband is being treated for stage 3 prostrate cancer and all extra funds/ time have been going to that or I might have tried to come.I know you will do superb job making the time very special for all. I remember my time very vividly and wholly. Oh! If my old pal CJ is still in the barn give him hug for me...❤️Alison

valorie grace hallinan said...

What a beautiful post.

Chad's mom said...

Page...thinking of you with much envy! I hope to be joining you one day :-) Have a wonderful, peaceful, inspirational journey.