Paint the Wind – By Pam Munoz Ryan
The book starts off like most children’s books do, by taking the parents conveniently out of the way. In this one, the parents are killed off in a freak accident and the child, Maya, we meet at her paternal grandmother’s house leading a dull, orderly life in which there is no place for frivolity, laughter or joy. Her grandmother dies and the young child finally gets to see her maternal side of the family who were held in such disdain by her pat. Gran that she does not have any recollections of them.
Of course, all this is meant for us to feel for Maya and hope her life turns around and she gets to enjoy life in her time. She does.
I don’t know why books do that. But they do.
The book is a story of how Maya finds herself while finding the horse her mother adored a decade ago. The horse, Artemisia, is now a wild stallion who broke free from her aunt’s ranch and joined a stud stallion, Sargent, and became the leader of the herd. Some wisps of wisdom offered up here and there make the sweet story likable.
🐎 “With horses, it’s not the biggest or oldest who is the lead. It’s the horse who has the confidence to guide the family in times of danger, who has knowledge of the land and knows the routes to safety, who is herd smart and can make alliances with other mares and keep peace. Some mares have the ability. Others don’t. Think about great human leaders. They have many of the same qualities.”Pam Munoz Ryan – Paint the Wind
🐎 “When the horses run against the wind with their manes and tails flying, I think they look like fleeting brushstrokes of color.”Pam Munoz Ryan – Paint the Wind
I have never had the opportunity to photograph a field of racing horses, but I have admired them. Their power and strength seeming to include the environment around them. I remember pulling over on a whim in Iceland where a field full of Icelandic horses offered us their manes to pat. It was easily the highlight of the trip for the daughter. I hope she remembers the way her face lit up when one nuzzled up next to her.
I have to admit I chose the book because I saw Artemisia on the blurb. That was the name my daughter wanted to name her horse who was secretly a unicorn, and only reveal itself to her. I miss the innocence of her beliefs and the determination with which she loved her book horses. She read American Horse Diaries, watched My Little Pony, though her favorite was The Secret Unicorn.
So many little tidbits that I’d listened to with fascination when the daughter as a little girl told me came back: #horsemagic
🐎 The color of horses: Audubon (light tan) dun, bay (red-brown)
🐎 The different strides and their names: trotting, canter, gallop , lope
🐎 Horsing vocabulary such as Remuda: a herd of horses on a ranch
All in all, it was a wild journey into the canyons with a little girl and her horse. We all belong on Earth and there are so many ways in which we can find that feeling. Our attraction to nature, this planet’s nature, is one of them.