Hello and Welcome!
A subtle scent of wild blossoms drifts on the early June breeze. I am astride my grey-white horse. We mosey along together alongside a creek, in the east end of the Bear Paw Mountains of north central Montana. His hooves make no sound as they swish through the impossible green of mountain brome. The sharp smell of crushed blades of grass rises. I close my eyes. One hand rests on the rough hair of my horse’s silvery mane. The other lets the leather reins drop to his neck. He carries me on faith and trust. The creamy white blossom-scent of hawthorn and chokecherry bushes enfolds us. We splash through the clear mountain stream and tread onwards over this land.
My name is Jenny Haldemann and I live central Oregon. However, I have not always lived here. In the fall of 2019 I left Montana where I had lived for the majority of my life. But I have found that I am still connected to Montana by an invisible tether, even as I am in Oregon. The land still sings to me in either place. Readers will find stories of both places. Of course, I return to Montana when I can.
I had the good fortune to grow up on a cattle ranch on the east end of the Bear Paw Mountains. I am the daughter of ranchers and keepers of the land; sister to an artist who also happens to be my best friend; a steadfast friend of others; lifelong student of horses; and lover of solitude, long horseback rides and hikes, books and nature. My other more extroverted side: thought provoking conversations, good laughs and time with family and friends. For over 20 years I worked as a farrier. Now I am a writer and a seeker. Now I have discovered a deep connection to this land that raised me and I have returned to. This new connection is many layered; it deepens and deepens. Each day I become aware of so many of the land’s offerings: its landscape, all the lives that live upon it, its very atmosphere and essence. It changes, always.
This blog is where I will tell the stories of the land where I stand and of its ancient powers. When you look and feel closely with the earth what you will find. There will be stories about horses, for they are intertwined with the land and with me. There will be stories of the search for solitude in this world where life rushes faster each day. There will be stories about people of the land; it grows strong characters. And, oh yes, stories of books I’ve read, words that sear my soul, my animals, and pictures. Many pictures. Honestly, these writings will evolve and you are along for the journey!
“EarthWise & The Alabaster Horse”
This is the name of my blog. “EarthWise” is about the earth. The earth as a whole, as an ancient power, as the earth I am connected to, as the ground I walk on each day. It is what I see, hear, feel, and imbibe. There are all of these things on the physical/sensory level, and then there are other deeper mystical layers. I continue to learn of the earth’s ancient power/wisdom, which will be explored here as well. EarthWise is how I live, with the wisdom of the earth.
“Alabaster Horse” was chosen because of my life-long love affair with horses and the recent appearance in my life of a grey-white horse of the Lusitano breed, who are native to Portugal. This horse, Evaristo, which means “well pleasing” in Portuguese, has been a pivot point in my life. There will be stories of him, and other horses, in my blog.
Not only do alabaster and horses please the eye, they have other, deeper meanings.
Alabaster is a gemstone that is a form of gypsum. Mainly, alabaster is white, either translucent (light passes through) or opaque (light does not penetrate). It is sometimes grey to black, but may also be yellowish, reddish, or sand colored.
Alabaster is named after a town in Egypt, where in ancient times the stone was used for carvings. While it has many qualities, I will highlight here those significant to me: encourages feelings of peace and calmness, provides inner harmony, sparks creativity, lessens fear, bridges the gap between physical and spiritual lessons, is a drawing stone as it draws things to you or away from you depending on what your needs are, and expands the ability to forgive yourself and others.
And now we have arrived at “horse”. Who does not love horses? Or at least the vision of a horse that runs free across hills that roll to the horizon as far as the eye can see? For centuries, they have existed in reality, folklore, and magic. They carry our bodies across the earth and carry our souls, also. Horses are generous, forgiving, strong, quick, smart, ever so sensitive, and offer a connection few find but leads to a place stunning in its connection not only to them, but the entire universe. Horses are true messengers.