"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Thoughts on a snowy afternoon

    We are beginning to thaw, finally.  I happened to drive by Meadowlake Park in Enid this morning and stopped to watch the Canada Geese who are overwintering there.  Most of the lake is frozen and thousands of geese were sitting on the ice, waiting for the signal, or for warmer weather, or for someone to organize a Gin Rummy Tournament. The ducks were in the water and came paddling over to beg for bread. Alas, I had forgotten to bring them anything, again.

This little duck and I met ourselves coming and going in the parking lot. Ha!

      Once I made it back to the farm I refilled all the bird feeders and let the chickens out for a stomp about in the snowy grass. They had been cooped up out there for a week and were delighted to hunt out some green to eat, although it's mighty slim pickin's around here in February. The pond is frozen solid and the dusting of snow on top of the ice is full of cat tracks.  Very pretty.
      I cleaned out the chicken coop and gave them new wood shavings. The old litter was taken to the garden beds and spread around.  I also added a layer of the compost/charcoal from the burning mound. That soil looked fantastic and I'm sure the beds will love it once it thaws enough for me to get out there with a shovel and turn it all under. It will soon be time to plant the onions and greens. I know! It seems like only yesterday but an entire year has gone by...as they tend to do. That's the news. I'm happy to be back at the farm for a few days.

    Once inside again,  I made myself a cup of tea and as I passed by a window, noticed a 'something' hunkered down under the tree that holds the largest bird feeder.  It was a raggedy teenage opossum out scavenging birdseed.  I don't shoot opossums anymore and this one in particular was rather pathetic, missing a front foot and lurching through the snow on the driveway.  Suddenly one of Peter Mayer's songs came unbidden into my head.

"Nobody asks to be born.
  They just show up one day at life's door,
  saying, "Here I am world, I'm a boy I'm a girl,
  I am rich, I am sick, I am poor".
  Nobody asks to be born."

   This poor little guy, out in the daylight, had probably been driven out of the den because his deformity (or wound) or because there were too many mouths to feed.  He certainly hadn't asked to be born a opossum in the winter.

"No one is given a say,
 they're just thrown straight into the fray.
 A bell rings at ringside and someone yells fight
 and some just end up on the floor.
 Nobody asks to be born."

Life isn't fair.
Children need to learn that from the git go.
Life isn't fair and things don't always go our way, they just go.
Sometimes the answer is no. Because it is.
It's wonderful if you have someone watching your back,
but there are no guarantees.

"And no one's assured of a grade on the curve,
  or a friend they can trust,
  or a home where they're loved.
  No life includes a book of how-tos
 'cause nobody has lived it before."

That little opossum will probably not live out the week and definitely won't make it to Spring if the cold weather continues...unless he's very, very smart....with a side of lucky.

Nobody asks to be born.

There is so much more going on with each of us
than the rest of us can begin to grasp or understand.
Our memories, our fears, the old wounds and scars we all
carry around, sometimes unbeknownst to ourselves,
which shape how we hear and see and interact with the world.
It behooves us all to step back and take the time to be a little more patient,
a little kinder, a little less quick to jump to judgement,
a little more compassionate with each other.
I tell you, things can happen.
People can slip out of your life in an instant.
Let us love while we have the opportunity.


Brenda Cohorn said...

I admire the fact that you can be gone so much. When I am not at home for the majority of my time - I get grumpy. I get testy. I get so discombobulated. I've always been a homebody but didn't realize how much it would change my disposition. You on the other hand seem to adjust to any and all. sigh. I wish I were more like that!!

manda_hladik said...

Amen! Your words speak right to my heart. Everybody has a story, and the world would be much better if we would just take the time to listen.