Some time ago, not sure exactly how long it was since a strict accounting of time is not very interesting to me anymore, I was engaged in one of my very favorite pastimes: chatting with my niece, Hannah. It happens that Hannah has been studying and practicing Karate for most of her life, having so far achieved the rank of 1st Degree Black Belt. Her skill and dedication are astounding to me, but that is not the point I set out to make. In the particular conversation I mean to recount, Hannah told a story about a sensei who one day stopped what he was doing to apparently stare into space for an extended period of time. When asked why, he explained that he was taking a mental image of what he saw before him to use in “mokuso”. I hope Hannah doesn’t read this because I’m probably making a horrible muddle of the story, but in my memory, she made it sound like he was gazing on his happy place, a place he could go to to calm his thoughts and clear his mind, which is basically how students start a Karate class – “mokuso”, or “meditation”.

You are starting to wonder why this is relevant, so let me cut to the chase. Today I was standing in the nor

th aisle of the barn at Horse Haven and I remembered Hannah’s story. The barn smelled so good. It looked so good. It was the perfect temperature, with the sun streaming in through every open door. It sounded so good. And no, I did not lick it, but if I had, I’m sure it would have tasted so good. And I had this moment where my thoughts were calm and my mind was clear and it occurred to me that this is the instant I should capture to use in my own version of “mokuso” because this is indeed, my happy place. Everything felt right.

So that’s how I started this morning. From there, David and Nate went to pick up the horse trailer, and Susan, Donnell and I went to get Kiera and Ranger. Donnell got all their stuff together and cleaned their stalls (she is an EXCELLENT boarder) while Susan and I hand grazed the horses until David and Nate arrived. Kiera had some complex thoughts about getting into the trailer. I have to admit it was pretty fun to watch Nate and company get her loaded. In the end, Nate basically picked her up and put her in the trailer. Seriously. It was priceless.

We brought them back to HHABC and turned them out in the pasture by the front gate. They trotted in like they were born and raised there. Two down, one to go. Donnell cleaned out the trailer, Susan stayed back to do some barn chores and hang with Kiera and Ranger, and then the rest of us piled in the truck and headed up to Marysville to pick up Princess Fluffy Feet. Having never loaded into a trailer with a ramp, she took a moment to verify that the whole thing was kosher,

and then she loaded like a seasoned professional. Back at HHABC, we turned her out next to Kiera and Ranger and let the meet and greet commence. There was a lot of flirting going on out there. The Twilight Saga’s got nothin’ on the doings out at the barn. However, the love triangle is doomed to be short lived, because…

Tomorrow: Bentley arrives! Ranger will no longer be the only dude in town, nor will he be the tallest. Bentley is reported to be a pretty chill dude. We’ll see, and as soon as we do, we’ll let you know. All in all, it was a perfect day. If you are one who looks for omens, you would be content with the day. Everything went our way. There will be ups and downs ahead, as there are in any venture, but I must say, it sure helps to start out with an “up”.

Today was a big UP.