Somehow I have been thinking a lot of white horses in the past few days, even when I was riding an elephant in the Thai jungle earlier today.
(Photo from right to left, Naila, Ablai, I and Mahdi taken today)
I see white horses on the sea from my window here at Patong beach, tossing their heads in a sprightly manner. During the past five years I have seen a lot of footage of the Tsunami striking the shores of India, Maldives, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand and those initial waves became mammoth white horses as they broke. In all the afore mentioned countries except the Maldives, elephants gave warning that the mammoth white horse Tsunamis were approaching. In the Adaman and Nicobar Islands, people followed the elephants into the hills and their lives were saved. A similar story came from Sri Lanka.
Where on earth did this expression ‘white horses’ come from ?
According to the Poseidon myths he had a palace under the sea with an enormous stable filled with white horses who pulled his chariot over the ocean. "White horses" is an old expression referring to the whiite part of a breaking wave.
Oddly enough, the first mountain I climbed in New Zealnd was Poseidon Peak, 7340 feet. We climbed it at the end of an arduous two week trip in one of New Zealand’s remotest regions, the Olivine Ice Plateau. We were stuck for eight days in Forgotten River during incessant rain, and when it cleared we climbed over Fiery Col, Cow Saddle and up to Park Pass. From there, I saw the mighty white horse, Poseidon Peak standing supreme from the Park Pass Glacier. What a peak to choose for my first climb.
I was with John Armstrong and Robyn Norton, who later married.
Poseidon, like Hinduism’s Vishnu, was also a destroyer. He destroyed buildings, heavily flooded some lands from his powerful seas, and brought a bad drought to others. These Poseidon myths are really history transformed into mythology. Actual events were about one religious group trying to get a hand over another. Has anything changes today ?
So for 2010, I wish the world to move away from Poseidon type conflicts, where the person with the biggest chariots and the strongest white horses wins over the other, and we take the gentleness of the elephant, his measured pace, large ears for listening and steady footsteps. Elephants can also detect disasters before humans can feel them. Let’s learn from the elephant in 2010. Elephants are symbols of good fortune, something the world is lacking today.
I wish you all a very happy New Year.
Mt. Chaos left, and Poseidon Peak right from the Dart River.(Permission sought from naturespic. Hopefully they will agree.