Airs Above The Ground

Corridor of the Mind

In an earlier post, I wrote of visualizing my mind as a series of corridors with doors opening off to each side, each filled with a memory, experience, data, visual. This fabulous picture, courtesy of Weekend Theme by Sideview has everything I like. Arches, sand, footprints, open doors, sunlight, and more than a touch of the sacred about it. The more you gaze at it, the more it draws you in. What’s happening with the ceiling? It looks as though there might be footprints on the ceiling as well. At the far end is a windowed door leading … where?

A memory surfaces. A magical memory of the Lipizzaner Stallions out of Vienna and a book by Mary Stewart, Airs Above the Ground, (1965) concerning a kidnapped Lipizzaner stallion finally returned home. I pulled the book off the shelf, it still has the price of .75 cents, the cover and pages held together with old tape. But the memory of the old disguised horse, dyed a piebald to keep the kidnapping a secret and the heroine, a Veterinarian on vacation, who is asked to help heal the old piebald injured in a fire… it was like coming home to an old friend. So, of course, I had to read the book again… That is why this post is over two weeks past the challenge. Not because I’m a slow reader, mind you, but because life took off and I was reading only a couple of pages before bed. I thought to quote the book and knew the two scenes I wanted; knew exactly where they were without rereading, but once I started flipping the pages, it all came back fresh and clear and I surrendered to the pleasure of finding an old friend again. Two weeks later, I look at the picture at the beginning of this and I hear the hooves softly beating the sand, and the timelessness comfort of the smell of hay, horse, and wooden stalls. Tradition passed down through thousands of years, of battle cries and destriers trained as intensely as the knights of old to fight and protect… This gave me a chance to do some research on General Patton’s rescue of the Lipizzaners in 1945, as well as Operation Cowboy, where 1,200 horses, including 375 Lipizzaners, were rescued, which set me off for an hour’s viewing of various Lipizzaner videos.

22 thoughts on “Airs Above The Ground

    • Oh, you have Lipizanners there?! I saw them in 2005 when they visited the States to celebrate the (60th?) anniversary of rescue by the U.S. Army – they are amazing. The book helped because she salted all the facts between suspense turning pages – my favorite way to learn – and now, with a click of a button, we can see videos! What interesting times we live in! In person, though, not to be missed.

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  1. Funny, after all these years that riding school term still brought the same book to mind. I loved her novels until she went all Arthurian.
    We spent a couple of years on a smallholding next door to a Lippizaner breeding farm ‘nursery’ and ‘creche’ commissioned by our Spanish Riding School in Johannesburg, and it was a great thrill to have the mares and foals grazing on our property and to get to know them. Also, having them join the expedition when I went riding.

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  2. Hunt, I think your vision of the pathways thru your brain are marvelous. It allows you easy access, in a beautiful setting. My brain is much more cluttered, and as anal as I am you would think I would share those same clear pathways. Then I realize maybe your pathways aren’t as clear as those depicted. But the I reflect, Hunt is so diverse with many interests, views, and callings. Thank you for sharing the snapshots of your mind. Take care, BIll

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    • Confession, Bill. If my current outer environment reflects my inner environment, then you should know I am surrounded by clutter that I resolve each and every day to do something about and each and every night I go to bed, averting my gaze and saying, “Domani, domani.” Diverse is so much better than perverse 😉

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  3. Thank you, Hunt. I enjoyed this video. I’ve only ever known these as the ‘dancing’ horses.
    Interesting how their color bleaches out from dark to white. With all that horse flesh and muscle, they sure do have tiny ‘ankles’. 🙂

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