The other day I was riding in the car with my son and we had to stop our conversation to watch a dozen or so horses run across a field. The horses represented a variety of breeds and colorations, making them interesting to observe even while standing still. One felt suddenly frisky for some reason and broke into a run and the others joined in. The pasture was immense with fence lines quite far apart, so there was plenty of space for them to gain some real speed. Their hooves pounded across the dry earth, manes and tails of all colors flying like so many flags of various nations behind them. It was startlingly beautiful and Tano and I instinctively fell silent in a sort of reverence.
After we had passed them by, I wondered aloud why it was so thrilling to watch horses run like that. He didn't know either, but agreed it was really an incredible sight.
I said it reminded me of watching an eagle soar on an unseen air current. You feel compelled to just stop and watch. He said he was just thinking the same thing.
The more we thought about it, the more we concluded that the reason both are so beautiful to watch is because the creature is doing exactly what it was uniquely created to do.
A horse is built to run. It is designed especially for that purpose. A horse has no other defense system against predators. Did you know that? I didn't until I learned it while studying horse anatomy and behaviors with my daughter in her school curriculum last year. A horse has no way to fight anything off, so it just runs. And runs. Swift and strong.
An eagle soars. It's what it does. Soaring is how it hunts for prey. The fact that we view the behavior as majestic is secondary. It was simply designed to soar, and when it does exactly what it is designed to do, observers find it to be beautiful.
It made me think about what I am designed to do, and the beauty that could be found there. As Tano said at the end of our conversation, "Wow. I'm going to be thinking about that one for a very long time."