In my new book, the one I’m getting ready to write now (“The McKettrick Way”, Silhouette Special Edition, Dec. 2007), there is a wild horse. Justifiably afraid of humans, this animal avoids them at any cost. He is wounded and sick, half-starved and thirsty, frightened and rebellious. All attempts to round him up, so that he can be treated, properly fed and watered, and taught that all humans are not enemies, have failed.
Along comes our hero, Brad O’Ballivan (direct descendent of Sam and Maddie, of “The Man from Stone Creek”), who has been away from home for a long time. He sees the old horse and, respecting the animal’s natural need for freedom, does not desire to tame him, or “break” him to ride, but only to help him. Brad knows, you see, of a canyon on Stone Creek Ranch, where clean water springs from the ground, and the grass is green and plentiful, even in a high country winter, because of the high, sheltering walls. The mouth of the canyon is narrow, and a little rocky, but if he can teach the horse to enter it, well, the benefits are obvious.
Of course the horse knows about this canyon, too. And he fears it. He thinks he will be captured, or cornered, if he goes in. Painstakingly, over the course of the story, Brad woos that frightened horse to a place of safety. He is at last able to treat the animal’s wounds, and he has shown him where to retreat in a storm, when he is hungry and needs plentiful water.
I can see some correlations between human beings and that horse, and I know you can, too. We get wild, we get injured, we are proud and fiercely independent, to our own detriment and that of others. I have been that wild horse. The Canyon is the place of Silence, within our own hearts. And the Whisperer Who would guide us there, soothe our fears, treat our injuries, self-imposed and otherwise–well, you know Who He is, don’t you?
Hungry? Thirsty? Hurt? Caught in the ravages of a storm?
Try the Canyon.