By: Deb Kitchenmaster

What a spectacular display of fireworks on the Fourth of July! Enjoying a cup of hot tea (with a little ginger root) on my porch was a refreshing way to simply sit back and enjoy the ‘oooohs’ and ‘ahhhhhs’ of the fireworks being shot off. That was, until I heard the distinct nicker of one of the mares. Grabbing a handful of carrots from the fridge, I headed out to the horses. The horses in the overnight pasture were peaceful and resting. The mare who got my attention simply did not like the booms she was experiencing from her paddock. The stallion was running back and forth, east to west, along the north side of his fence line.

The day had been HOT and the humidity HIGH even as it turned from sunlight to moonlight. I’m not certain if this combination of heat and humidity created the surround sound that we were experiencing at our property or not, but truly it sounded like a REAL warzone. We’ve had several Fourth of July celebrations here at Corral Connections, but this one seemed to hold a different energy than those of previous years. Noteworthy also was the fact that the horses in the overnight pasture were being calm. Horses are social; having the support and presence of another of its kind is important to them. The stallion was in his own area, able to see the other horses, but not mingle (connect). The one mare was in her own paddock, also able to see the other horses but not mingle.

I approached with soft, soothing greetings and the delight of some beta carotene (carrots) as a yummy distraction. My presence brought the support that each needed and the PEACE was as visible as dew dripping from a white vinyl fence in the early morning. I hope this stands out to you, dear reader. Do you realize your ‘presence’ is enough to steady, shift, and support those around you? I hope so. It’s true. Even in “crazy,” if you remain present in God’s presence, it is enough. Many times, actually more often than not, words aren’t spoken. Presence illuminates. Let me be clear, you need to choose not to entangle with “crazy” and you need to choose to remain present. Many of us have had to choose to not go away INSIDE when things get messy, uncomfortable, or, like I said, crazy. When you choose to remain, things simply do NOT stay the same. Try it. You might get addicted to being present.

I stayed with our equine friends until the fireworks were over. Although off in the distance there would be a spray of colored lights from time to time, all was well. I’m grateful because that’s not always the case. I sat in on a court hearing where fireworks had spooked a horse out in its pasture so much the gelding jumped the fence only to come into contact with a vehicle driven by a passerby. The horse was euthanized. Bottom line -- be awake, alert, and aware when it comes to the annual celebration in our beautiful America. Be there for your horses, dogs, friends, family, and veterans that are being challenged inside because of the sounds in the night air. Be PRESENT. Just BE.

Presence simply means being there ‘in the moment.’ Not the past. Not the future. Present. I live around 600 miles from where my mother lives. One year I asked her, “Mother, do you want me to send you a present or do you want me to come and be present with you?” Her response was, “Debbie, come see me.” It’s only family that usually refers to me as Debbie, like Ron is to most and Ronnie to me; like Bob is to most and Bobby to me. Yeah, it’s a family thing!

Psalm 16:11 in the Bible says: “You will show me the path of life; in YOUR presence is fullness of joy, at YOUR right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” Can you imagine what your ordinary day would be like IF you were PRESENT on the path of righteousness that God Himself had appointed you; comparing you to NO ONE? The JOY! The PLEASURES of being, enjoying life, enjoying each other, enjoying your horse.

“YOU” are a present to this earth because LOVE has given you a GIFT of RIGHTEOUSNESS. A gift is not earned or deserved, it simply is received. Enjoy!

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