I had a blog all started about the mild November we were having in the mountains. How I had walked a tributary of Meadow Creek looking for brook trout spawners and, not finding any, had decided it had been too warm and sunny yet. And how, at the spring, the water bubbled up sending concentric circles out in a delicately repeated pattern. Then it all ended abruptly with snow and high winds. We've been in the hills every day since, gathering stragglers, breaking water, convincing cattle that there was indeed grass under the snow and to go eat it already!
Yesterday we trailed the herd to a lower pasture and will get another couple of weeks before walking them down to the home ranch. I checked the cabin before we left and discovered someone had broken a window out and put a big hole in the card table. Luckily the window was a slider so I brought it home to get fixed. It takes two weeks to get a replacement and I doubt if the roads will be passable by then. I hate to think of the window being out all winter. We have a saying for this kind of disappointment in our fellow humans: “people are the worst.”
I’m loving it at home as the days get shorter. This time of year a homemaker’s thoughts turn to tending the wood stove, comfort cooking, and wading through all the domestic jobs we neglected while the weather took us outdoors. But the outdoors still beckon. I took the dogs for a walk tonight and smelled the sweet fragrance of damp cottonwood leaves and tromped through lots of sumptuous stockpiled grass. The buckskin and browns of the horses mirror the now muted colors perfectly.
I keep thinking about a CD that Mark and I listened to as we traveled back and forth to the mountains. It’s a book called Outwitting the Devil by Napolean Hill, which was written in 1938, post WWI and in the midst of the Great Depression, and while Hitler was gathering power in Germany. The author is interviewing the Devil. It was chilling to listen to the Devil explain that the ability to think for ourselves is his greatest enemy and how through propaganda the public is manipulated thereby creating a perfect void for his influence.
As a counterweight, I just finished the book, From What Is to What If, by Rob Hopkins. It’s a hopeful book, so fitting for today with a pandemic upon us and an election under threat. The author admonishes us to cultivate our sense of imagination, and that it is, in fact, the only way to find solutions to complex, nagging, seemingly insurmountable problems.
It applies to our world, our local communities, and right here at home on the ranch. How does it look and feel if, as Hopkins describes, “it all turns out OK?” Well, for the ranch it looks like a great quality of life for us and our kids AND the work getting done. For our community it looks like neighbors protecting neighbors by using Covid spread prevention practices without a fuss. For our world it plays out with a united front against climate change which reduces fossil fuel use AND leads to better land management that cycles carbon in healthy ways.
I wrote a quote from the book that encapsulates this crazy notion that what we can imagine, we can create. I wrote it on our whiteboard in the kitchen, “I bet it can be done, though.”
|good grazing on fresh feed|
|This grass fills me up|