I’m new at farm and ranch life, so I’m learning a lot. Much of the new lessons provide great insights to everyday life.
- As entertaining as they are, chickens are silly, entertaining creatures, but they eat weeds, bugs and provide good protein food.
- Smelly as cattle can be, among the other benefits that will come later on, they now provide excellent fertilizer.
- The mare was trained for herding cattle. Even without a saddle, bridle or a rider, when she sees me carrying a rope toward the pasture, she brings the cattle in. I especially appreciate her late in the day when I’m tired.
- And did you know cows rub against anything that stands still – especially the ever-available sprinkler heads? Unless I want to toss hay, checking for broken heads is kind of big deal.
There are no pigs on this ranch. Aside from seeing them at the county fair and driving through pig farm country on a humid afternoon, I’ve never been around pigs. But I’ve learned some about them from Brother. He raised and showed them in his youth. He knows about pigs.
Recently, as Brother mulled aloud his concern for an anonymous friend that’s going through a wringer in a romantic relationship, my mind kept returning to something I heard some years back.
“I learned long ago to never wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.” George Bernard Shaw
After assuring him he told me that, he stared at me blankly for several moments. Once the point set he said, “Yep.”
Today I overslept. After coffee I quickly began scrambling to catch up with the day. Out of nowhere I remembered where that conversation with Brother went;
“If you don’t mind the slime and the smell you can go wrestle that pig. It’s a workout. But when you realize you’re not getting what you want, you get outta the pen.”
Sometimes life not going the way I expected weighs on me;
- not seeing my offspring, my sisters and old friends feels lonely sometimes,
- having to wait on the order of projects to finish settling in to my cottage,
- not having the funds for things like a new mattress and a good storm door (without running up debt).
I wish I could honestly say I always keep a firm grip on reality, my expectations are consistently reasonable, I’m constantly in balance, and that I don’t worry. But like Brother’s friend, I waste a lot of time, do myself discredit by fussing and fretting about things I can’t control.
It’s all good. My new experiences and some old lessons are setting up well. Aside from recognizing when the water troughs need a power spray, I hardly notice pasture smells anymore. I’ve been close enough to pig farms and other people’s squabbles I know to keep my distance. And when prayer and quiet time with Father God remains my first priority, I can enjoy life so much more:
- Gazing at the stars after a hard day’s work, enjoying the fragrance of petunias and sweet alyssum,
- Brother’s company,
- a relaxing walk with the mare,
- clucking around with the chickens,
And I lose weight without wrestling pigs.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6, 7 (NLT)