Did anyone ever wonder why ‘devout non believers’ like myself aways get such a bad rap? Hey, I’m somebody’s neighbor, too.

I ‘m so lucky, in my green bowl of  fresh air,  to have the most wonderful neighbors in the world. Two legged. Four legged. Feathered.

There are six houses on my side of the one lane bridge that  crosses  a recently dried up-stream, and two houses on the other side.  When you start down the hill, on a two lane, narrow, twisty old road that was once a side road off the main road to Waimea-by foot or horseback or truck or car or bicycle 0r motorcycle or running in a marathon-you are surrounded by open fields and a jungle growth of buffalo grass and hale koa which Ari loves to munch on. I warn him too much hale koa will make his tail fall off- honest- and I can’t afford to buy him a fake one.  No vain  roan horse wants to be seen without a tail.

On the mauka side of  this stretch is a vast all-encompassing vista of everywhere and everything north-eastward. Cloud capped Mt. Kahili reigns supreme and no civilized distraction-house, highway, telephone pole-insults the eye of the beholder. A jungle growth and tottering fence claims  ownership of this side. Inside the fence, on a bank that once grew pineapple- the old cannery is just around the corners-I can walk  and watch dark rain filled clouds slug slither  down the mountain side hell-bent on drenching me, and everything in the valley, to fullness.

If Ari and I and Boots catch sight of this forthcoming disaster we race back to  the barn post-haste.

When you reach the bottom of the road and make the hairpin turn you’re in paradise. Open pasture-where Duke made his runaway flight- now full of horses…


The property was purchased by a mainlander- fenced and harshly gated-with intent to build.  But something changed. An old Kalaheo horse- loving family equipped with gorgeous kids leased the property and filled it full of  horses. Ari and they talked horse story back and forth across the air space. I love to hear horses talk to each other. They were getting acquainted. I was eavesdropping.

I thought I sensed a jealous speak in Ari’s voice. Here were new friend in lush green pasture, which he doesn’t have, so quickly made contact with my wonderful new neighbor who gave me permission to let Ari roam  and graze. I could hardly wait to turn him loose.

When that day came, first light, I led him over. Opened and closed the gate and told him to go run and jump and play. No other horses were in sight. I kept a vigil. Watched him.  And guess what? He careened back down to the gate and called.To me.Paced. He wanted to come home. He loves his home.

Okay. But I love my new neighbors and they love me. if Ari wants to be standoffish that’s his problem.


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