Friday, May 20, 2005

Emerson, Whitman, Chincoteague

"Conrad Burns will be known to future generations as the man who killed wild horses."

Years ago, I went on a trip with my parents, my sister, and my cousin to Chincoteague, home to the wild horses.

We had a tour guide who spoke something that wouldn't even be remotely considered English. The bus was cold, the weather wasn't that great out, even in mid-summer. The sky was overcast, we were wearing sweatshirts to shield us from the wind.

But then we saw them. The wild horses.

There's a feeling you get when you see something as majestic as a mustang, running wild through a field. It's like you shrink and swell at the same time. Shrink because you're suddenly aware at how large the world really is, despite all the ways in which we've made it seem smaller. And swell because, at the moment you witness something wild like that, something free and powerful, it fills you with a sense that there is a greater force flowing through this world, through all of us. Our lives are magical, mystical, miraculous. To see the wild horses of Chincoteague, unsaddled, untethered, unbroken, was to see everything we take for granted: our freedom, our individuality, our spirit. A living metaphor for humanity.

Reading the article above made me sad. Not only for the horses, but for us. Call me a sentimental crybaby liberal-face, but I think there's something wrong with our system when callous congressmen have the power to take a thing of beauty and sell it to the slaughterhouse.

I'm no vegetarian, I'm not a member of PETA. I just know what I saw on that family vacation, and what I felt. If only people the people like Conrad Burns would open up their hearts and take the time to feel it too.

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