In December, the herd and I welcomed a new herd-mate – Spicy. Spicy is a five year old miniature horse. She is a grey appaloosa. Her personality matches her name! She is full of energy and is expressive, sometimes bossy!
It is always exciting to watch a new horse enter the pasture. When Spicy first joined Vienna’s herd, there was a lot of nose sniffing and some running around. However, that was about it. She very quickly settled, and had a posture that told you she had been with the herd a long time, despite the reality of just arriving. She looks like she is at home. She enjoys hanging out with Sweetie Pie. I imagine their youth brings them together in our geriatric herd. She even seems to enjoy the odd time Bandit chases her. She kicks up her heels at him, and holds her ground nicely. She eats with Chunky, who is very loving towards her. He is like a protective older brother. Vienna acts as though Spicy has always been with her. They certainly share some personality traits!
It is an amazing feeling to feel at home in a group, in a place. There is something so grounding, and meaningful about feeling like you fit somewhere, with a certain group of people. There is a line of thought that each of us belongs in a particular place, that there is a spot on this earth we feel most at home. Martin Shaw writes about this perspective in his book ‘Scatterlings’. When we arrive at our place, our piece of earth, the body relaxes, it softens. There is a sense of homecoming. It is like fitting the last puzzle piece, and completing the puzzle.
What we all seek is connection with others, with a group, and a place, as well as with daily activities, where we can simply be ourselves in interaction with the world. This would appear to be easiest when where we live is truly our natural home. Living where we belong creates a grounding that offers a strong sense of confidence, or self-containment. From this strong foundation, it is much easier to connect to what is meaningful to us.
When pieces of our roots keep changing, or disappear altogether, a sense of disconnection can set in. Shaw proposes that this state of meaninglessness can be repaired by connecting with the earth, by remembering that we come from the earth. Paying attention to how one’s body responds to a place – the weather, the flora, the fauna, and the animals can tell you plenty about satisfying your need to belong.
To nourish your bond with Mother Nature, try laying on the earth, breathing deeply and looking up at the sky. Try sitting still and watching the light change either early in the morning, or late in the afternoon. Notice the birds. Notice the various expressions of the weather… Notice how connecting with nature fills you up!