Angels and unicorns

lipazzanI recently visited Vienna and attended a performance of the Royal Lipazzan stallions accompanied by  the Vienna Boys’ Choir.

The horses were so dazzling they seemed unreal. Their arched necks and rippling, muscled haunches spoke of controlled power.

The show’s host explained that that Spanish Riding School worked with the horses’ natural abilities and perfected them. Through years of training and close partnership between horse and rider, the horses could achieve astounding feats of grace and strength. With their snowy white coats and smooth, dancing steps, these glorious creatures seemed to float, otherworldly and

The boys in the choir sang along as the horses went through their moves. I was charmed by these young boys. They stood and fidgeted. They smiled and gave each other playful sidelong glances. Their choir master beamed.

And then they sang, filling the riding hall with the sounds of angels.

As with the horses, these boys had taken their natural abilities and, through training and partnership, elevated their talents to something heavenly and beyond what most of us could ever hope to achieve (or indeed even hear in our lifetimes).

It’s true that both the boys and the horses are selected as the very best of their ilk. But neither could achieve the pinnacles of their success and magnificent achievement without the willingness to work hard, and most importantly, the desire to shine and share their talents.

What could each of us achieve if we acknowledged our natural gifts and were willing to develop and share them?

Oh you dirty dirty girl

I firmly believe that any day that ends with my being dirty was a good day. The dirt can be from playing, from working hard, from having an adventure or even a misadventure. But if I come home and I’m dirty it can only mean:

  1. I’m safely home,
  2. I’m still alive, and
  3. I was really living. (There is a difference between merely being alive and truly living).

Getting dirty – whether in word, thought or deed – means you’ve done something to flout the straight and narrow conventions that say we must behave ourselves and be clean and in control at all times.

You’re dirty. You let go, freed yourself from the rules, and even if only for a little while, exercised a wilder you. kids in mud

The other day on my way into work I stopped to greet three Rottweilers that were out with their owner having a wet, mucky romp. I know these dogs so their hello back was canine joyous and very big. I ended up covered in mud and slobber from my chin to my knees. I couldn’t have been happier.

As I walked into the office I was smiling and thinking “It’s not even 9:00 a.m. and I’m already dirty. It’s going to be a great day!” And it was.