Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Horse (Part I): Strong and Wild

Several years ago I was on a hike with my (then) roommates. We were climbing up a steep hill and one of them said, "Erin, you're like a horse."

Um. Thank you?

I'd rather go for something more petite and feminine. But a horse. They're strong, I guess, right?

And upon inquiry, I discovered that's what she meant. I had the strength of a horse to barrel through the incline and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

While I initially might have been offended at the comparison, it didn't last long because I actually love horses. There's just something about them that intrigues me…yet also scares me. They are so powerful and muscular.

Meandering in a pasture? Absolutely beautiful.

And when they're in a full on run? It's a majestic mix of fluid strength and thundering force.

But when it's unbridled, to be honest, it scares me. They can rear up and buck in a wild stubborn statement of independence.

Dangerous independence.

I am reminded of a favorite childhood movie (let's be honest, it's still a favorite as an adult…I'll admit it, no shame)…

The Man From Snowy River

Yes, it's that good that it deserves its own line. While it wasn't exactly a blockbuster hit back in the 80s, you would have thought it was in our house. Introduced by my sister, hated (yet secretly loved) by my brother, that VHS tape was plumb worn out.

It's an Australian drama telling the tale of 18-year-old Jim's search for love and significance as he struggles to earn back his family farm after his father's death. Of course it involves a beautiful young (strong-willed) woman, but also a 20-year-old family feud, secrets, lies, assumptions, and a prized stallion who winds up missing.

I know, I had you at beautiful young (strong-willed) woman.

Oh, and the soundtrack is killer. It ranks up there with The Last of the Mohicans (nothing beats driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains with those inspiring violin melodies streaming through the speakers).

What I love about soundtracks is that in addition to being stellar music, they always take me back to great parts of the movie. That is particularly true for The Man From Snowy River soundtrack.

I have two favorite tracks on it. One is "Jessica's Theme - Breaking in the Colt." Which, thanks to my sister, I heard lovingly pounded out on our piano just about every Sunday morning. :)

There's a terrifying scene at the beginning of the movie where a pack of brumbies (free-roaming wild horses) run through the woods resulting in a tragic accident.

Just watching it causes my heart to beat hard in my chest, echoing the pound of the horse hooves.

It's a significant scene for me because later in the movie - when my favorite song plays - Jim and Jessica break in a wild colt. It's an incredible scene. It's not just any horse they're breaking in. But a wild one. It snorts, it whinnies, it breathes hard and fast as its eyes go wild.

You couldn't pay me to enter the corral with that thing.

And they set out to train that wild horse's spirit to submit...surrender. My fear meets reality and begins to subside as they work with the horse, building trust, breaking down walls, and eventually she submits.

I know my roommates didn't have this vision of a horse in mind when they made the comparison. But is there a part of me that is like a brumby? Is my spirit wild and untamed?

In my next post, I'll break down the spiritual implications that literally made my jaw drop…