Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Open Eyes, Open Hearts

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the
greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. --Roald Dahl

stock photo: kllproject.en

A great secret, it turns out, was hidden in the plane's belly.

While riding the shuttle from long-term parking to the Northern KY/Cincinnati airport for a trip to California last week, we learned for the first time about the World Equestrian Games to be held in the next few days in Lexington, KY--a mere 75 miles away. "Horses," our shuttle driver said, "are being flown in from all over the world. The first fifty came in that." He pointed to a huge FedEx cargo plane on the tarmac that we could see from the curb.

Fifty horses in one plane. That's a lot. And more to come, over a thousand more (plus 800 riders)--and from 57 countries. That figure blew me away, too. The countries represented run through the entire alphabet at least twice--from Argentina and Azerbaijan to Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Mexico all the way through to Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, USA and Venezuela. The games will start this Saturday, Sept. 25, and run through October 10. It's the first time the WEG, held every four years, will be hosted outside of Europe. (You can find the story's coverage and original pictures at Lex18 News.)

I don't know about you, but it sounds like a pretty big deal to me. The world--represented by some of the most skilled horses and riding athletes--has come to our doorstep. For some reason, this amazes me, though I myself have had little experience with horses. (The time in college that I took horseback riding for a phys.ed. credit doesn't count. That experience will remain a secret--at least for now!)

Once we arrived in California, a stroller held secrets of another kind--baby Nicholas, four months old, tooling around the neighborhood with this doting grandma at the helm. I learned real quick that he was not content to just stroll, he wanted to see his little world. As long as he could see out, he was happy. But when a blanket was draped over the stroller's canopy to keep the sun out of his face, he changed his tune. He not only wanted to watch the world go by, he wanted to be a part of it.

One day his world will expand beyond the stroller to airplanes, too. Adventures will be embarked upon, surprises met, secrets revealed. Until then, I savor a specialness that should be no secret to anyone--babies are to be held, cuddled, cherished and loved. I'm so glad my plane took me to him. Our time spent together was precious--and too short.

Now I'm home, and I bring me with me a reminder: watch the world with glittering eyes, everywhere and at every chance. Take in as much as possible. Be open to surprises. Learn from the children. Yes, the greatest secrets are often hidden in the most unlikely places. 

What part of the wider world has opened up to you lately? Any recent surprises that you might even write about?


  1. This is a cute post! And yes, my little guy likes to see his world every chance he gets it!
    We all loved our time together! Thanks for visiting us!

  2. Congratulations on getting to see your beautiful grandbaby! Babies are amazing little creatures that remind us of the wonder of it all.

    And cool about the horses. :)

  3. Glad you got to take the trip! Thanks for sharing all this other info, too. I wondered about the horses coming from overseas. What a big event in our humble state. :) Have a good weekend!

  4. Oh, wow. This is so cool. How else would horses get here? But I never thought about them in the belly of a plane. And so cute about the baby.

    " . . . watch the world with glittering eyes, everywhere and at every chance . . . (because) greatest secrets are often hidden in the most unlikely places." Love it.

  5. Aww, congrats on visiting baby Nicholas! I'm always keeping my self open to the world and letting it impress itself into my mind. It usually finds itself into my novel.

  6. Aww...his little feet are so cute!!

    Wow, that is a big deal. I can't imagine 50 horses in one plane! That's wild.

  7. Thanks to all who dropped in and checked out the horses, and baby news! Have a great rest of the weekend all... :-)

  8. I didn't think horses rode in planes! My husband said (I read this to him) how do you think they get here, swim? Such a help he is:) Anyways, I love the part of seeing your grandchild. Mine visits in a month or so!! Can't wait--they come from Seattle and we live in Fl so I don't get to stroll him that often.

  9. Ha, ha, Terri--I love your husband's sense of humor! And enjoy your grandbaby, too. They are a wonderful gift and source of joy, aren't they?

  10. Yes, yes, yes "learn from the children". I do every day, and these life lessons are making me, molding me into a better ME. Thank you for the reminder. I also think that the World Equestrian Fair being in "our backyard" is pretty darn, cool, too. One of my former students is helping interpret for the Spanish-speaking teams!