matt pond PA

September 13, 2017


I met Louise in the early summer. Crawling in the grass next to her, I watched her graze and gnaw, a true pro at a sweet meadow strut. She was a cloven-hoofed beauty, sweetly aloof and on her own trip. I got close, she permitted my presence — then Louise walked away. And now she’s gone on to those majestic, lush fields in the sky.

It’s the same for all of us. The modern world is a maze. We are careening toward an unknown future with armfuls of technology, as the the earth spins around a thousand miles an hour. All we can do is hold on and try to head in the best estimate of a direction.

What I know is this; what makes sense to me is experience without expectation. Involvement in an environment or an idea, committed to making an undertaking come to fruition or at least make sense.

We went to Woodstock Sanctuary without presumption.

We knew we wrote music, we knew we loved animals. We came across a kingdom of creatures, surviving and thriving together, living life to the fullest. We came across a community built upon mutual respect, mutual reflection.

Sheep with patchy coats, timid horses, affable goats. The bulls were breathtaking, both gentle and powerful. The chickens, ducks and turkeys — shy because of their previous captivity, but always slowly, slowly coming around. Grand pastures, idyllic and still sensible, still humble, mostly purposeful. Surrounded and woven together with the roaming guinea fowl — rampant, surly, loud and beautiful.

But maybe humans are rampant, surly, loud and beautiful. (This might also be the constant out-of-context definition of music.)

The Woodstock Sanctuary is inclusive. It’s just about participation. One spare weekend afternoon. Or a commitment as a member. Or a lifetime dedicated to these fine-furred, fine-feathered friends.

To understand and help anyone or anything, we need to accept every animal. Even the two-legged, misinterpreted lumberers can see the truth — inclusion and acceptance are the only way we’re going to successfully reach any kind of simple heaven on earth.