Susan and I recently returned from our annual vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We gather with her side of the family (the Anderson clan) for a week of rest and renewal and chaos. We cram 23 family members and friends into a 9 bedroom home that can sleep 20! It’s wonderful and relaxing. The house is located some 9 miles north of the little town of Corolla, reachable only by 4×4 vehicles since there are no paved roads, only sand.
The area also hosts about 100 free-roaming Corolla wild horses. They are descended from the horses of the Conquistadors, brought to the New World from Spain as well as from Spanish breeding farms in the West Insides. They were the best horses of that time – a mixture of Spanish Barb, Arabian and Andalusian bloods that created the Colonial Spanish Mustang. Lucas Vasquez de Allyon sent an expedition to the Cape Fear area of North Carolina in 1521. Ship’s logs document the Spaniards leaving their horses behind during a Native American uprising. The herd is protected and monitored by the Corolla Wild Horse Fund.
Some mornings we awoke to the sounds of a stallion and three mares feeding on the inward side of the house. One afternoon three young stallions joined us at the beach, ignoring our presence completely. They played in the water and rolled in the sand. They chased each other as playfully as any of the other “kids” who were enjoying the Atlantic Ocean.
Playful could best describe our vacation. We were playful not just with actions, but in our attitudes and in our relationships with our family. About the only thing we took seriously each day was the time that dinner would be served. When we are rested, when we are thinking of others in a positive way, our souls become playful. This is a lesson that I need to place in my memory bank and pull out to review constantly. There are so many experiences that can take the playfulness out of our lives.
When you see me, ask me to see the pictures of the horses on my i-phone. I’m not a great photographer by any means, but these few photos will stay with me for a while, reminding me of God’s playfulness in my life and my need to be playful with my life and my faith.