A good scare is worth a thousand words of advice. It brings us to attention. Fear is the most worthy opponent of personal success. Inside the ignorance and illusion of fear, the ears, the nose, the eyes, and the mouth simply do not function properly. Whatever gets decided in the face of fear, usually moves us backwards. We simply have to learn to step beyond the outer senses of fear.
It was March when Oklahoma Sunshine Magic came to us. I lay on my belly on the south side of the north pond here on The Ranch. The sun had barely peeked over the horizon when she came. Kanoa had picked the perfect spot for the birth of her second foal. Tahos, the father of this foal, was sired by a Grand Champion American Saddlebred but had been lead-poisoned as a colt. The vet encouraged us to neuter him. He hated the process, and fought it harder than any horse I’d ever seen. We were sure we’d neutered him early enough, so Oklahoma Sunshine Magic was a surprise. She came thirteen months after Tahos was “proud cut.”
I grew up in a family who loved to take the back roads. There are few things I enjoy doing more than driving down the red, dusty country roads of Oklahoma. My friends and I love to kick back, crank up the country music, roll down the windows, and simply cruise the countryside. Oklahoma is laid out in one-mile squares. Most of the back routes are dusty, gravel roads. The baby green colors of springtime and the miles of winter wheat fields nourish the soul. You can imagine the surprise we felt when, one day we stumbled upon literally miles of cattle fence posts topped with cowboy boots.
Tom McBride of Helena, Montana has been photographer of the year for National Geographic several times. Tom was the first person to photograph the mating act of the great golden eagles. He is well respected for his ability to live with and photograph the emotions of wild animals and birds of prey. Tom and I spent the day together on a mountain in Montana talking about the great teachers in our lives. This is the story Tom told me about his lesson in humility and vulnerability.