Singing is the topic of the week with the horses! They would like me to share some of my experiences of singing. They LOVE when we sing and rue the day that humans became so self conscious of making sounds vocally. To them any singing, whistling, clicking, etc are lovely and are merely us moving energy and air throughout our bodies using sound. To the horses, these sounds have a calming influence, relax them and they always recommend singing while experiencing grief. They also want us to be aware that crying is merely our body releasing excess water and salt, it is only us humans who let our minds judge ourselves for this release.
So here is an experience that happened in Brentwood, Nova Scotia, on Boxing day, December 26th, 2010.
Here we are, standing with our friends Sky and Clay. They are Clydesdales, tall, gorgeous and gentle. Sky has gorgeous blue eyes. Clay is rather funny, sometimes goofy, they are both very handsome and polite. They are incredibly sad today. Their fiend and teammate Valdi has died, he has been poorly for years, nature has taken it’s course and he is now buried behind the barn. They miss him very much. Especially, the sounds he made and his magnificent sense of humour. Valdi made them laugh and smile even when he was in pain. They are in a bit of shock and are physically missing their friend and teammate.
Clay is concerned about Sky. Clay understands that he is not clever enough to now be the leader of the heard. Sky seems confused and unable to take charge. “Could you sing that wonderful song please,” he asks. “Singing will cheer Sky up. ” He adds. ‘Mhmmmmm…what is that wonderful song?’I began to wonder to myself.
Years ago, in a workshop I learnt a song. It has been invaluable with animals since. I often sing it to animals who have experienced trauma, illness, injuries or shock. It calms their spirits, soothes them mentally and physically relaxes them. Singing comes naturally to me when I’m with certain animals…Perhaps that would be the wonderful song that Clay wants…
So…I start singing….Blessed are you. Freedom are you. You are the infinite within your soul. You have no beginning and you have no end. All this you are.
Blessed am I, freedom am I, I am the infinite within my soul, I have no beginning, I have no end, all this am I.
Blessed are we, freedom are we, we are the infinite within our souls, we have no beginning, we have no end, all this we are.
After warming up and singing a few rounds, I checked in with Clay… “Make eye contact, as much as possible, with Sky,” he says, “Add some rhythm too the song! Speed it up, move your body, sing louder and sing that wonderful song please!”
Okay, sing it again…feeling a bit self conscious, there are no humans around but am feeling as if the neighbours might possibly be peeking through their drapes, wondering to themselves what IS that women doing in that paddock? Shaking myself and doing my best to let go of self consciousness, I put some life into the song, grooving it up a bit and swaying my hips, singing louder and with some flair. As I sing, I make eye contact with Sky and Clay. They have gotten taller, their postures are finally relaxing, and they are holding eye contact for longer periods. Clay says ” wonderful, wonderful, a great song, would you sing that wonderful song though please!
Mhmmmm…the current soundtrack in my head is all Christmas music..So….Laughing all the way….hahahahahahah ha ahahahahahahahha! … Over the fields we go….In a two horse open sleigh… Hey! I am pleased with this choice, amused by it actually, after all these two have been in competitions pulling sleighs, hitches, wagons and such. “Yes, Yes good one!” Clay agrees…”Please sing the wonderful song now!”
Mhmmmm…can vaguely hear some distant lyrics…Bluebird…Ahhhhhh…Gone away is the bluebird…here to stay is the new bird…de de de deeee….walking in a winter wonder land…. “Good, good.” Clay applauds us…”Now sing the wonderful song please!”
Gracious! All I can hear through the insistent, Christmas song soundtrack in my head, sounds vaguely like a Fat Boy Slim song…It’s a wonderful life…but no, even with my eyes scrunched up and humming uneven rhythms, I am unable to catch it…So. I sing a bit more, talk with my friends about their questions and concerns about Valdi’s bones and with their assurances of lifted spirits venture home.
Now, the thing is, that I witnessed the horses lightening up, I could see it in their eyes, hear it in their breathing, feel it as they relaxed and their postures straightened and lengthened…I did my best and could relax and get on with something else. But, throughout the next day, while clearing and organizing post Christmas disarray…My mind was still curious about the wonderful song…What WAS the wonderful song…If I could only hear it a bit clearer…
Two days later, I am visiting with Valdi’s human friend. The horses would like music in the barn, classical music, Valdi. They would like their human friend to release her grief, to dive deep into the pain of it, to cry, instead of swallowing it. They remind her that tears are merely excess water and salt that the body wants to release. By being in the barn with them and the music, it would benefit them all to have a grieve together. I tell her about singing to them, and how it cheered them up. She mentions that she used to have a song for each horse in the barn, but hasn’t been that aware of music lately. She does play the radio for them though. The horses, point out that they enjoy when the radio plays music, but the in between bits, the advertisements, are really loud and have a very staccato rythmn that can be quite jarring. They would like continuous music, like a CD, with no people talking in between.
After awhile, we walk out to give the horses some cranberries. Clay has requested that I bring some Vitamin D drops and cranberries and feed them to Sky to lift his depression. He loves the sun, it keeps his spirits buoyant. This is the 9th day without sun in a row. The Vitamin D will help him. As we are feeding Sky…once again, Clay says…”Sing please, sing that wonderful song…” So I sing…Blessed are you… for a few rounds….We notice how the sounds perk up the horses. Then, Clay, thanking me, asks for that Wonderful song please…OH MY….WHAT ARE THE LYRICS TO THE WONDERFUL SONG??????? HELP!!!!!!
I mention it to his human…does she know it….I think maybe Louis Armstrong or somebody sings it…It’s old…..She just shrugs…GOODNESS, I will be glad to find out what these lyrics are…..glad to actually hear the tune in my head…..
So upon arrival at home, I immediately look up Louis Armstrong and voila! Here is the Wonderful song!
I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom, for me and you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.
I see skies of blue, and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.
The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces, of people going by
I see friends shaking hands, saying how do you do
They’re really saying, I love you.
I hear babies cry, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more, than I’ll never know
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself, what a wonderful world.
Yeah! Upon finding them I emailed them to my friend. I printed off the lyrics for myself and tucked them into my glove compartment in my car. It was indeed a wonderful song to lift the spirits on those darker, sometimes lengthy grey winter days. And now when lovely Clay asks for the Wonderful song, I can sing it too him and Sky! After all, those horse’s do have a habit of calling me in without warning as I drive by!