The creative magic captured in Connected Art is the marriage between visual and verbal art to create an experience for the participant. Artists and Story Tellers were given a word which would provide the basis for their combined expression. It is an honor to present
Artist: Anna Grimm
Story Teller: Jackie Kaschel
Ruby was a stout chestnut halflinger cross who had been born in a local rescue after her mother had been nearly starved to death. The filly was raised and trained at the rescue and then placed, only to return several months later emaciated beyond recognition. That was when I met her. She came to the ranch and had given her all ever since.
It was a warm July and we were in the second week of sessions for PEACE Kids, a six week equine assisted learning program for children with Autism. He was a gentle boy who often expressed his gratitude to his horse by saying, “Thank you Ruby”, but the sensory struggles that accompanied his Autism made it too hard for him to actually touch her with his hands.
It was the end of the third session that week, “Ribbon Friday”, the day everyone got a ribbon to celebrate their accomplishments. One had started riding a bike, another drinking from a cup, and still another dressed himself for the first time. We were all standing around as the children said good-bye to their horses when the boy walked to Ruby. I drew a breath……….
The boy stood and faced Ruby, looked her in the eye and took her muzzle gently in his hands pulling it toward his face. Quietly praising her, expressing his love he said “Thank you, thank you Ruby” over and over again. Gently, he comforted her; his words weeping the heart felt love and admiration he felt. As he sank to his knees, she lowered her giant head gently to assist as he buried his face in hers. Still gently speaking, he stood, caressing her and again going to his knees, he kissed her muzzle sweetly. Ruby, perfectly still, closed her eyes and breathed deeply, as the boy breathed deeply with her. Standing to his feet, one more hug, and off he went.
The crowd dissipated silently. The breath escaped my lips. I stood frozen. Astonished by the exchange between horse and boy, I wept. Such tender beauty, such powerful imagery, my mind reeled to recollect what I had witnessed. An eight year old boy with Autism, expressing such deep, unfettered love it compelled him, for a few moments to reach passed his neurological restraints to touch, not just with hands, but his whole heart, mind, soul, and being the object of that love, Ruby. This captive prince set free by one sincere expression of love.