There is no sound more soothing that that of a horse chewing its hay. A slow, rhythmic sound that implies an absence of stress, a freedom from concerns. It is a relaxing sound, so much that I have actually seen ‘hay chewing meditation’ advertised for city people who need to de-stress.
To me, it’s a way to recharge my mental batteries. My writing sessions are 4-8 hours long. They are often nocturnal, all depending on my husband’s rotating work shifts. I usually have a lot going on my head, with anxieties, occasional bouts of depression, poor health, and chronic pain to keep me busy. I need that time-out.
I like to sit next to Emilie as she chews her hay and watch her. There is so much going on in those dark brown and blue eyes. Her long lashes are two-coloured — red in the inner end of the eye and white in the other, a gradual change of colour.
Horses live in the present. While horses have formidable memory and rarely forget something once learned, they don’t have a lot of cognitive processes going on. They look to their immediate needs. Emilie wants sunshine on her big red butt, hay to chew on, and she enjoys human company. She likes people. I am okay company. She doesn’t think I’m another horse, but she does think I’m okay to hang out with.
When I sit with her, I forget everything else that’s taking up bandwidth in my head. Sunshine. Hay. Company. All that matters. It’s a bit like hitting the big reset button on one’s mind. Wiping the mental hard drive of clutter and corrupted bits. Washing the plate clean before filling it anew.
I come home, sleep like a rock, and next morning I am set to get right into writing because of the peace and quiet in my head that Emilie gave me the day before.