Easter Star

Easter StarSometimes cold and frosty mornings linger into the spring like a party guest who doesn’t know that it is time to go on home. It was one of those kinds of mornings, an Easter morning in fact, that my daddy woke me up in the middle of my deepest sleep and urged me to follow him out the door and into the yard, still dark from a moonless morning.

“Something exciting is happening!” he assured my weary ears. “Something special!”

Passing through the yard we entered the old tin covered barn that has stood sentinel over the farm for nearly 100 years. Immediately, I saw it. A new baby. A foal was born to our favorite mare, Diamond Jewel, so named for the white diamond pattern on her red forehead. Diamond Jewel gave birth on Easter morning no less! And, even more precious was the nearly perfect white star pattern resting on the foal’s forehead in the same spot as her mother. We immediately named her Easter Star.

At the time I was going through some pretty tough emotional battles rooted in my learning disabilities. I was an angry kid. But one look at that foal and I was soothed. It was such an unforgettable and spiritual moment that positively shaped me in ways I will never fully understand. After all, our experiences as children shape us forever. I continued to visit, care for, and love Easter Star, always finding a listening ear whenever I was sad or angry or confused.

As I rode by the Boys and Girls Homes farm today I stopped and watched the horses with a deep peace and joy in my heart knowing that these animals are here to listen to a new generation of kids whenever they are sad or angry or confused.

At Boys and Girls Homes of NC we believe that the privilege of serving children is a spiritual act that demands intentionality and compassionate thoughtfulness invested in building powerful and formative childhood experiences that counter the many, many traumatic and damaging childhood experiences that our residents endured before entering into our care. That is why I am thankful that we are increasing our focus on equine therapy, and will soon begin to make that wonderful service an opportunity for all of our kids! This will ensure that the children in our care are making memories like I did that will last a lifetime. As my dad put it on that early Easter morning, “Something exciting is happening!”

Learn more about our Farm

Dr. Mason Fuller Smith is the Director of Community Engagement for Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.

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