What Does It Mean to Be “Wild and Free” in Today’s World?

What Does It Mean to Be “Wild and Free” in Today’s World?

As I drove up to my friends’ house the other day, this fellow was in their driveway. He was heading to the birdbath to have a drink of water. He ran off, as I pulled in, his muscles taut and strained in flight, a flash of phenomenal beauty. He returned once I was inside, and so I caught this photo from the front window. A wild horse of Placitas, he cantered wild and free. What does that even mean anymore? I struggle with this question, as I wrestle with the future of our planet, the earth that has been our home for so many years.

Our President’s most recent decision to dump our country into a category of now three countries standing alone against the Paris Accords, putting us in the company of Syria and Nicaragua, has sent me into quite a funk. Even if one does not have children or grandchildren, and President Trump happens to have both, how can one not be concerned with the future of our fragile planet? Does he not worry about the air his future generations will breathe?

Much as I love to see this lonesome fellow creature running free, I am aware that he has only come in search of water. If not for water, he’d be on the BIA open lands or up in the mountains. Will he survive another dry season? Will some of the folks who have taken on the wild horses take him in and make him wild no more?

Some of you have read my blogs after I came back from South Africa and Zimbabwe this past fall. Even those animals are behind fences. And even though they still have vast amounts of land, their migrations have been interfered with by man, for nature and for profit. Am I happy that watering holes are filled in when there is drought? You betcha. Am I glad that the horse can drink at the birdbath? You betcha, I am. But these questions of “free and wild” wage war in my tiny human brain. As fast food restaurants pile up along 550 in ever-increasing numbers, as developers continue to squeeze in more homes with no increase of water, as more mining continuously threatens our way of life, what are the answers? Do we really care if horses can run free where we live? Is catching glimpses of them enough to contain our desire to touch, to own, to cage in some way? Or do we touch, own and cage in order to not find them dying of starvation or thirst on the road, the very roads that are responsible for changing the nature of their existence.

CheetahI apologize to my readers in that I have no answers to these questions. I support some of these horses in the minute ways that I am able, but I know that it is not nearly enough. And it is not enough to contribute here and there to WWF. It is a dilemma that hurts my heart here in the open lands of Placitas, or in the bush of Africa. Humanity has altered this planet in some ways we cannot so easily fix. However, evolution has in the past stepped in to resolve some of these problems, and I do wonder if man is not like the dinosaur, and that too much weight and too much power won’t bring us down in the better interests of the planet. The President of these United States is out in front, paving our way to destruction.





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