In church this morning, the preacher began with this line from Cormack McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses:
That night he dreamt of horses in a field on a high plain where the spring rains had brought up the grass and the wild flowers out of the ground and the flowers ran all blue and yellow far as the eye could see
and in the dream he was among the horses running and in the dream he himself could run with the horses and they coursed the young mares and fillies over the plain where their rich bay and their rich chestnut colors shone in the sun and the young colts ran with their dams and trampled down the flowers in a haze of pollen that hung in the sun like powdered gold
and they ran he and the horses out along the high mesas where the ground resounded under their running hooves and they flowed and changed and ran and their manes and tails blew off of them like spume and there was nothing else at all in that high world and they moved all of them in a resonance that was like a music among them
and they were none of them afraid horse nor colt nor mare and they ran in that resonance which is the world itself and which cannot be spoken but only praised.
It was beautiful and relevant to the sermon, and it also made me think of Colorado. Specifically, it made me think of the occasion when, driving in dense fog from Kansas to Colorado, we trusted in #2 son’s phone/butler Siri to get us to a good place to eat breakfast.
We ended up many miles from our destination and added an hour to our trip, but we also saw fields of sunflowers, big barren fields that made me think about the moon, and horses standing like cattle in the fields.
I called the restaurant we were heading to when the phone said we had arrived at our destination. “It says we’ve arrived,” I explained, “but we don’t see you.”
Turned out it wasn’t that the place was underground or anything. We just had a seriously confused phone.
We wouldn’t have seen it otherwise, thought, and I wouldn’t really have understood about the horses. I’d have imagined Southwestern mustangs or California saddle horses, not horses on the high plains. I’d have thought of fields of flowers in France or Escondido, not fields of wildflowers.
I haven’t read the book, and my hour in rural Colorado did not, I’m sure, give me a deep understanding of the plains. But even that little bit of greater knowledge enriched my life. There’s always more to learn and more to know.