• Ona Graham

Vegetable Soup for the Soul

Borrowing heavily from the title of the series, this story is in a similar genre, with the exception that chickens are now safe around me, as are beef, pigs, lamb, etc. There are aspects of not eating meat that I resonate with, as in feeding the planet and we need to treat animals right, but that is not the main impetus for my vegetarianism. I just feel better on the new plan.

A passion for horses has always been on my plate. As a little girl, I had a beautiful invisible horse who was my constant companion and consolation in times of trouble. She was all white, with the most expressive eyes imaginable. We did everything together. I even convinced my friends to play with her. I was teased at times as my passion for her did not abate.

And as is the case, I grew out of it and entered the less than stellar “real world” which causes the imagination to shut down as I put my nose to the grind stone. The little girl grew up, took on a lot of responsibilities and forgot about that inner world that sustained her in lonely times as a child. This lack of inner connection led to situations of less than desired outcomes.

Twenty years ago, at head injury fundraiser silent auction, I won horseback riding lessons that brought me back into contact with something I had denied within. My passion reawakened. My life changed. One thing led to another and 18 years ago I met Ralph and we set out to have a horse farm in Georgia.

The Native American spirit played deeply in Ralph’s soul. His connection to horses reflected his passion for them, further fueling my passion and desires. So we began collecting and breeding horses. It doesn’t take long before horses are everywhere. I got attached. It was hard to let them go, but new ones came as a result of our breeding program.

When Ralph died in March of 2014, the responsibility shifted entirely onto my shoulders. It wasn’t 9 months later when I saw a picture of Moonlight Pearl. In all my years, I had never seen a pure white American Saddlebred horse. She touched my soul. Being practical about these things, not needing more horses and not to mention the expense and distance to bring her to me, I decided prematurely, no.

Moonlight Pearl began to visit me. She would visit me in my dreams and during my meditations. She was persistent. Since the post I saw was old, I figured she’d probably been sold. So out of curiosity, I contacted the owner who lived on the other side of the country. She was still available.

During her nocturnal visits, Moonlight Pearl reminded me that we’d shared a few lifetimes together. And that I had called her back to me as a child and she came willingly out of love to be a presence in my early life, knowing then that I would need her again later, when the time was right.

When Pearl arrived on a cool September evening, it was clear she’d been through an ordeal on crowed transports and layovers. Her coat was covered with dirt and grease. She looked weary. As soon as she unloaded, she walked up to me and wrapped her beautiful neck around me and hugged me.

Pearl lived for 2 years at Spirit Farm. She attended the 1st Native American Festival. When the drums played and the singer sang, she lifted her head and tail and danced through the fields in a perfect figure 8, with the other horses following her lead in perfect synchronicity. This was unusual behavior for Pearl who preferred to hide behind Little Jack much of the time.

And so I was devastated when she slipped in the mud and broke her shoulder. “You need to get her to Auburn” is a phrase that will forever raise my blood pressure. Indeed there was no fixing this with about an 80% chance that any effort would fail. Should she survive, a life of pain awaited her. Through tears I said goodbye, jumped in the truck and drove away as fast as I could as my heart was breaking.

In about the time it took to euthanize her, I was headed down I85 toward home. She came to me in a flood of gratitude and joy. I did not know what was happening, but as sorrow swelled within me, she plied me with images of her joy and happiness to be freed from her physical form. She showed me her life at the farm and how satisfying it had been for her and healing. She appreciated that she had been allowed to be a horse again. It was so overwhelming and I began to smile. I could not feel sorrow. It had vanished.

The next morning when I awoke I heard her nicker and her call right next to my bed. She was going to visit her offspring, but, she said, she’d be back.

Born on Mother's Day 2018

Blessings! Ona

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