A Sunflower on A Massive Manure Pile

Splendid High (known as Mel) used to eat black oil sunflower seeds as they have benefits for horses. I fed them to him for a while when he boarded at Keyser Creek arena in Columbus, Montana.

Because I was probably the only one to feed black sunflower seeds there, I am pretty sure this was planted by Mel courtesy of his manure. I have a mini poster that says “Bloom Where You Are Planted” from a Rural Ag magazine with photos of sunflowers. So I took a photo of Mel’s contribution to Keyser Creek.

Now it holds a different meaning. Ukraine is in more than a heap of muck and what they have is a mountain of bull crap which stinks far, far worse than the horse variety. It’s an Everest of excrement of disinformation and there are real bodies in it and actual death and destruction. It’s a horrific Hell there. This was just fertilizer that was pleasant and benign.

I wrote on my graduate school application to Stanford that I wanted to go from “literal muckraking to the literary type.” I’d been homeless before and worked as a stable hand and slept on my boss’s floor when my parents kicked me out of the house. So I didn’t have a normal path to Stanford and I didn’t have one to Kentucky either. I lived in my car for a bit.

I’d hoped to be able to clean stalls in Kentucky and may still be able to eventually for work. At Keyser Creek I cleaned Mel’s stall as his vet wanted him to have kiln-dried shavings. I really enjoyed it–a whole lot–and I miss it now. Cleaning stalls is very therapeutic and a great workout. Where he is now, I don’t know if I could do as good a job as they do and I certainly couldn’t do it as fast. In order for me to be in brain rehab, I have to have Mel in a place where I know they will care for him while I am gone all day, some days. He has turnout in a huge green pasture and they bring them in and out and put bell boots on and take them off. They also blanket and unblanket.

Mel is my recovery partner and he’s really the only one who’s been able to be with me day in and day out, although undoubtedly he’d probably rather not some days. It takes many hours for me to do enough recovery prayer work to get to the barn and be centered. Mel and I pray the rosary together and we’re definitely praying for Ukraine.

He doesn’t eat sunflower seeds but he still is planting seeds of inspiration in his own way. His big heart is sending love to the people of Ukraine and he has a really huge heart literally. At Keyser Creek when he was on the aqua treadmill for rehab, he showed his endurance and aced his conditioning program.

Mel and I hope to use our ideal situation for recovery to advocate for those facing death and destruction. It’s only through prayer and fasting that lasting peace will manifest, I am taught and I do believe. We pledge our lives for that end for the Faithful and True.

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