Day At The Spa


The awe I have for the thoroughbred horse is bred in my bones.  A healthy and fit horse who gets to spend a year or two doing what makes her or him happy; to run, to inspire and evoke is something to behold.

Moreover, I am encouraged to see that it is becoming standard for horses to be treated less with medication and receive naturopathic treatment in a variety of forms for their injuries, their aches and pains.  Horses have also proven to be very effective in rehabilitating children with learning disabilities. They are noble and aloof. They are my kind of species.

Bo Derek, a beautiful woman, an avid horse lover and animal rights activist recently when interviewed illustrated rather elegantly that unlike dogs and cats, you are fortunate if you are able to earn a horse’s love.

Horses are cryptic and a happy story often has one in it.  Happy stories are my kind of narrative.

What seems like only a couple of years ago, when I was at my peak at caution with Facebook privacy and confidentiality and posting random pictures for my profile picture such as:


On December 31, 2008 which is mysteriously almost six years ago, I posted this as my profile:


As time goes by, why is it changing speed?  And why is it that what comes around, goes around, but now it just goes more quickly and often feels that the “what” has less meaning?

It was a silly choice for a picture but there was a reason for that choice. When we express ourselves, even if it is silliness or oblique it is an act of disclosure. It lets other people see a bit inside of ourselves. Disclosure is a choice. Choice reflects our values.

Happy, breezy, go with the flow, those are my values.  Now you know.

I am drawn to horses and they appear as characters in the chapters of the happy story of my life.

In one chapter, happiness and joy and a sense of peace knowing that my father, who never had it easy, achieved something remarkable. He worked so hard to buy a horse and to train this beautiful steed he named Banner into an equestrian champion with my father in the saddle.

There are stories about horses my father told me.  I remember him teaching me that when a barn is on fire, that horses, if taken out of the barn, will run back into the burning barn, because it is home for them and instinct says that would be the safe place.  A horse needs to be blindfolded to be saved from death by fire but dying feeling safe.

Remarkable life lessons can evolve from the stories we are told that move us, especially when they involve a horse.

One time my father saw a horse get struck by lightning.  I know he walked up to the corpse and in whatever way my father would and in a way no one will every understand, I know he honoured the spirit of that unfortunate stallion.

I find that the best times in my life involve nature, animals, their presence, their sounds and scents. The secrets they share, the ones I tell them, the guidance they have given me.

Two days ago, Bo Derek also made a clever observation about handicapping horse races, she observed that women vote for a horse while men bet on them.  I think we can all agree that gender is fluid, so I am not ashamed to say that I have a favourite thoroughbred that I have been following for the last three years and I voted for her during the recent weekend of championship thoroughbred racing.  She wasn’t the longest shot in the field, but I knew she was overlooked because she is my favourite.  Her breeding is modest, she has injured herself twice in ways that end a career but she returned with the white blaze on her face to win in top level events. I know how hard it is to come back to peak form from an injury or adversity and to look good while you are doing it. It’s a fight to overcome pain and those who are victorious make for stories that inspire courage and hope.

I think a Zoologist Professor at UofT would say that I am anthropomorphizing but I am quite sure that horses have a lot of personality.

This fetching filly, unexpectedly by me, was entered in the world championship race for fillies and mares at a distance beyond her perceived ability. At one point in the one mile and two furlong turf event, the race announcer observed Dayatthespa at the lead and said that her ears were pricked up, she was running comfortably and couldn’t be any happier.  She won the race against all odds.

I love a success story.  It makes me feel good.

It doesn’t matter if you disagree with thoroughbred racing or don’t care about it, what matters is we should be hearing more happy stories so that feelings like hopeful and inspired are evoked and exercised. Whether it’s a beautiful horse with her tongue sticking out approaching the finish line  or if it’s someone picking themselves up after they have fallen down, that is news fit to print.

Quite frankly, I needed a rush of adrenaline and a feel good ending.  November is my least favourite month and daylight savings time throws me for a loop for a couple of weeks. Wonkiness manifests itself in me.  Yet, I will grow a beard to promote awareness and testing for prostate cancer and for a hoot I did a Tarot card reading for the month ahead. I am feeling enabled in making the effort to prevent my blue November.


I started my monthly reading in October, which was to be a month of swift action and positive change.  The month went quickly so I will take that as a yes, kind of, maybe, but not really.

November’s spread suggests disruption, difficult times and conflict.  That’s one way of looking at it.   Enlightenment is what I find to be the result of challenging times.  It also stirs my creativity and fosters new problem solving skills and I like where that is taking me. Conflict resolution via the mind body connection.

Enjoy your Sunday or whatever day it is and thanks to readers of my blog who have sent me messages that were touching and moving and supporting me as I focused and struggled but persevere in feeling centred and in balance.

Not much else to say.  I didn’t win the election race I ran in.  I didn’t expect to, It was a thoughtful exercise and a healthy activity, a learning experience and if you took the dollar amount that each candidate spent on their campaign and divided it by the number of votes  earned, I did win in track record  time. Not bad for a modestly bred man.

2 thoughts on “Day At The Spa

  1. Harlon, First, I want you to know that when an update from your blog appears in my mailbox, it’s the first thing I look at.
    Your courage in running the race, life and the election, is remarkably admirable to me. Too many sit on the sidelines, throw stones, complain, shame and blame without ever daring to get involved. You my friend, jump in, bend the rules or change them and take life and its opportunities and challenges front on without turning it into a head-on collision where there are emotional, mental and spiritual fatalities.

    Harlon, you ARE the winner and the city lost in the election. Thank you for having the willingness and stamina to engage.

    And I loved your card to your Mom…


    • Thanks and I loved your comment. When I write, it is what I am thinking or feeling but when I publish I let that go and I wonder where it lounds, and how it sounds and hope it doesn’t crash. Then to have what I write come back to me via your comments and your observations of and about me. it is incredibly uplifting and then my writing for me has reason. I am glad you are out there!


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