Be Still (as published in Today's Horse Magazine - June 2017 issue)
Weekends are a special sanctuary for me out on the ranch. I spend most of the days during the week between home (the ranch) and our apartment in town. My main focus is our son and making sure he gets to and from school. I also work in an industry that is fast-paced. I love what I do, but the fact that I work on my phone and laptop from anywhere means that I don't have specific hours. A lot of the time I work more hours than not in a day. Like I said, I love what I do! So, when the weekends roll around it isn't work that I'm looking to escape. I'm actually craving more of it. However, the kind I crave comes in the form of getting dirty and being out in the middle of nowhere. I call it home....home on the range if you will. I adore our ranch life. I also use this time to find my true north again. Let me explain...
There is no doubt about it, life is busy! Think about your own life and what a typical day looks like. If you are like me it might leave you sort of breathless. Not all days are the same, but I have found myself assessing things lately and it has shocked me to see how fast time goes by. It's also unsettling to see how stressed out so many folks are. Things have a way of messing a person's compass up. People aren't always allowed the luxury of seeing a sunrise or smelling the countryside in the air. They may not even get to feel the wind blowing through their hair. I feel sad for them. I do know what I'm talking about because I spent quite a few years of my life seeing what the other side of the fence was like. I was raised on a working cattle ranch, but I longed for the city. I got a big dose of it. So big, in fact, that I eventually found my way home and vowed to never live anywhere but in the country. Well, now I'm halfway between. I have responsibilities as a parent and in what I do. No complaints. However, when weekends come the windows get rolled down and we kick up the dust on our 30 miles back road home. I get up before dawn most days just so I can see the day at it's finest. I savor every moment. Today was no different either.
I was greeted by a spectacular sunrise this morning. I crept out to our pasture on foot so I didn't disturb our horses and got the most magnificent picture of them. Then, I spent most of the morning going through our cattle herd checking on mommas and babies. I stopped quite a few times to take pictures and to honestly just take a few minutes to savor the moment. The grass is turning greener every day and the sky was a vibrant blue. Sitting out there in the quiet was magnificent. There were no sounds except that of nature. In my opinion, that is a sort of music to my ears. I heard meadowlarks singing their tune and cows mooing softly to their calves. Occasionally, the soft breeze would carry the scent of green grass, honeysuckle, and ripe plum blossoms to my nose. It was truly magnificent to truly just be still.
Have you ever heard that term before? I have. I remember hearing it when I was younger and not giving it much thought. I was young and headstrong and I most certainly didn't want to be still as I had a future I was chasing. Fast forward twenty years and I definitely understand it now. Even just typing the words "be still" now gives me a sort of serenity. I believe that all of us can find time to truly be one with ourselves and shut out all of the things that cause noise in our lives. People who live out in the country on farms or ranches have the ability to totally disconnect when they need to. It's one of the biggest blessings in my opinion. In this electronic age I believe it's more important than ever to be able to shut it all off occasionally and recenter yourself. I believe it's more difficult in populated areas, but I don't believe it's impossible. Wherever you live find something that brings you peace and allows you to disconnect for a bit. Perhaps it's a park, a path, a quiet room in your house, your garden, or your backyard. I truly believe that getting in touch with yourself is so important. I know I am a much happier person when I am able to do this frequently. There is just something necessary about letting go of all concerns and allowing yourself time to breathe. I also know that it's important for children to see their parents and grandparents doing this. Children learn by what they see. I feel blessed beyond measure to have the option to do what we do day in and day out here on the ranch. No matter where you live make the best of it. Here's wishing you beautiful days ahead and the opportunity to #BeStill!