We’ve been together a long time, two horses, a donkey and moi.
We’re all getting old. One of the horses is at the DMD stage, damn near dead. Except even at the overripe age of 33 she’s as healthy as, well, a horse.
The other one isn’t far behind. At 26 he’s pushing the age thing. And the last few years he’s had skin problems that make his life miserable every summer.
The donkey came to me as a rescue 13 years ago. I knew she had issues but I signed on for the duration. At 17 she’s the baby of the bunch. Just recently her gray coat has begun showing signs of the other kind of gray.
Just like me.
Last month I began taking their photographs every day. It was an exercise for Catherine Just’s Soul*full eCourse. I signed up for the class because I love love love love LOVE Catherine’s photography. And philosophy. And great big BEAUTIFUL heart.
This is not your average photography class. The word aperture has not been mentioned once. Then again, with a tagline of deepen your mind*body*spirit connection what was I expecting?
I wasn’t expecting to resume my long dormant daily meditation practice. Or take up Qi Gong again. I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with my gray hair or to feel comfortable enough in my own skin to take self-portraits.
Often. Like every time I whip out the camera. Just because I can.
Even though I always did my best to avoid being photographed. Even though I cringed at the toll age has taken on my face.
The first week of class we were given an assignment to photograph something in our daily life. And to keep photographing it every day. I decided to photograph the horses every morning when I fed them. Simple enough. Throw the iPhone in my pocket, snap a few pictures, post ’em online.
But it turned into something much more than that. First I began arting them up in one app or another, turning snapshots into something more interesting. And I began including myself in many of the photos. My first thing in the morning self. Pre-shower. Pre-coffee. Sleepy eyes, puffy face, uncombed hair and all SELF.
And as I documented this ritual, as I studied the images, I realized I was falling in love all over again. In love with old horses who will break my heart soon enough.
And in love with myself. Because I’m no longer afraid to love old horses. Or anyone else.
You can see more of these photos on my FaceBook page. And if you like what you see, please share with your friends. And say hello in the comments below. I love to hear what you have to say. As always, heart emoticons here. xoxoxo