“Before you can inspire with emotion, you must be swamped with it yourself.”

The adults in my life don’t want any more “stuff” for Christmas. Frankly, neither do I. So, I’m giving different kinds of gifts this year. It turns out there’s a charity that matches every interest.

At 73, my mother still dotes on five horses aged 13 to 32. We watched all but the eldest be born. The old man came to us as a yearling, 31 years ago. Needless to say, Mom knows a thing or two about nurturing horses, even when they’ve lost their teeth. For Christmas, I decided to make a donation to Habitat for Horses in her honor. What local humane societies do for dogs and cats, HFH does for horses. But the scale of abuse and neglect is often much greater. I know this is one gift that Mom will appreciate on a very deep level.

Is it a coincidence that I was drawn to HFH as a charitable contribution? Not hardly. I inherited my love of horses from my mother. We share that equine gene that draws us to horses like moths are drawn to light. But, not just as playthings or ornaments. There’s a maternal protectiveness at the heart of it.

That explains my current WIP, the most challenging and emotional writing project I’ve tackled. At the heart of the nonfiction tale is animal abuse, most prominently among horses. When you’ve loved an animal truly, it’s emotionally difficult to dig into the ugly side of abuse.

I cried as I read the heartbreaking abuse cases at HFH. I wept for the animals’ fears, pain, and unspoken question of “Why?” directed at the humans whom they have loved unconditionally.

The tears were still falling when I read the following quote by Winston Churchill:

“Before you can inspire with emotion, you must be swamped with it yourself. Before you can move their tears, your own must flow. To convince them, you must yourself believe.” -Winston Churchill

Coincidence? I think not!