rancherwriterpoet

Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Archive for the month “August, 2016”

When I was Young

 

In the past few months, I have experienced the effects of an autoimmune disease known as RA. It certainly has been on my mind lately. It is a nasty ailment, affecting many people. It is incurable, however, with modern medicines it usually can be controlled. It is said that women are more likely to come down with RA than men. I remember my grandmother suffering from the effects of arthritis. Statistics show that a descendant of one with this disease is at an increased risk of developing RA. The statistics also show that most that do have this disease are usually between the ages of 40 and 60. When I was young, I considered these people to be old. Now, I am much older than that. However, age does not factor into whether or not one acquires RA, although,  we tend to associate it with the older generation.  I will not discriminate on the basis of age as I have great empathy for all  who suffer with this syndrome as I do.

This consequence brought to my mind, the evolution of age. This poem is a reminder of that process.

When I was Young

When I was young,
I reached out
To be picked up.
and cried until I was.
I crawled
until I could stand.
Then I stood… and fell…
and stood again
and crawled and stood again,
until I could walk.
I walked
and fell and got up
and fell again and stood
until I walked again,

When I was young
I mumbled and muttered
and tried to speak
And tried again
and cried again
when I could not…,
until I could speak.
and when my words
were misunderstood,
I cried again.
until I could be understood.
and the world around me
was so small
when I was young.

Now I am old
and the world around me
has magnified
and is no longer the same.
yet I do not see clearly
and I stand carefully,
and I fall and get up
and stumble again
and cry and try to speak
and mumble and cannot hear
and my words are misunderstood.
Maybe the world around me
Is not so big after all
just like when I was young.

Pete Robertson
©November 2012

I hope you have a wonderful (and pain-free) day.

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Of a Serious Nature

I am deviating from my usual genre of writing because one of my readers commented recently on “The Character of Nature”,  an article I wrote concerning  the extremes of weather activity. That comment also suggested that I share more of my personal perspectives on grief as well as the weather.

The weather, well, this is in the authority of God and I have not yet acquired nor developed the skills to assimilate the various instabilities in weather related disasters. I can only offer my condolences and support to the victims of these calamities, along with spiritual encouragement.

Sometimes we humans wonder if God causes these disasters.  It seems like God isn’t on our side, however, we still need to realize that He can be trusted. Why, because He has injected Himself into our lives by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to intercede on our behalf. This is the love of God most clearly. Martin Luther once said, “When you look around and wonder whether God cares, you must always hurry to the cross and you must see Him there’.”                                                                                                                                                                                          After we see the response from people following a natural disaster, we see a genuine and heartfelt effort to help someone in distress. This is offered freely and is a trait given to mankind by God, whether one chooses to believe it or not.“When we hear about a natural disaster we should grieve with those who grieve. And we should ask what we can do to alleviate their suffering.”   http://www.Billygraham.org

As for as my thoughts on grief, well, there are literally hundreds of books and writings dealing with grief. I am not an authority on the subject and this does not in any way represent how one should or should not grieve. This is only my perspective on the subject.

Just like everyone else, I have experienced loss.  It is true that grief is unpredictable and inevitable, just like the weather, as the reader commented.  However, I learned a long time ago that giving in to the very feelings of grief is understandable. It is an emotion, yet we cannot allow emotions to consistently dictate the way we live our lives. I believe we should live through the experience, not in the experience.  There are lessons to be learned through these encounters.  However,  I believe at some point one must face reality. There is no time frame for overcoming grief. I cannot tell you how you should grieve over the nature of your loss.  It is very personal.  And personal stories of grief are just that, personal, to be shared only when you feel the time is right.   My suggestion would be to encompass  the love of God in dealing with grief.  David wrote in Psalm 119:50,  “My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life”.

Thanks to Rainee C., for commenting and allowing me an opportunity to expound on this subject. It was indeed a mind opening topic.  However, do not allow the seriousness of this article to keep you from having a wonderful day.

Smile, be upbeat and check your humorous character.

 

The Character of Nature

As I write this article, I do not make light of the circumstances of anguish and grieving. Certain parts of the country have received much more than their share of rain. I empathize in their despair for I too have experienced the misfortune and anxiety that comes with the disaster of flooding.  My heart goes out to those who are suffering a loss, especially a loss of life. My prayers are with you. Do not lose hope. 

Nature’s Character

Lately, we have experienced drought conditions and extreme heat. Plant life is being raddled to their limits. Green shrubs are turning brown; their leaves curling under and giving up the ghost. The once vibrant green grass no longer rises above the plain. It too, is having a brownout. The peaches not ready for picking have all shriveled and shrunken. The pond is drying up. The heat is taking its toll. To keep all this watered is not only time consuming but it puts a strain on the pocketbook.  Our water bill is approaching astronomical heights.

The “Rancherwriterpoet” and the “Rancherette” have the utmost respect for nature; however, as humans, we do take the necessary precautions for keeping cool, that being under the influence of the air conditioner most of the day. Of course, the electric bill is in the stratosphere alongside the water bill. When we do venture outside, we do not tarry long. I’m pretty sure the neighbors would object were we to wear less clothing.

The kennel dogs do not really care for the misting system installed on their partially shaded pens. There is only a soft hot breeze blowing across their outdoor pens, but with the misting system, it does cool the concrete pads and the air. All the standard poodles have a summer cut yet some prefer staying inside their buildings and under the fans, as if they are fused to the floor (they do not like to get their feet wet). Others will lie comfortably just out of reach of the mist but close enough to feel the coolness as it comes across their body. Occasionally they stand up, shake off vigorously, turn round and round several times and lie back down.  It’s what dogs do. When they lope out of their pens for their afternoon constitutional, they immediately tend to business and return to their pens. The afternoon sun is very warm and they prefer their shaded home sweet home.

Conversely, the Silkie chickens do not seem to mind the heat as much as us humans or dogs. They are wont to hunt and scratch and peck and chest bump and do the chicken dance around their coop. They run in little circles chasing anything that moves. They are always snooping around for food no matter that they feeder is full.  They engage in wide ranging conversations. Clucking and cackling, crowing and chirping, they express themselves quite effectively. Why, even the “Rancherette” understands chicken speak. This is how she knows to serve up frozen treats every afternoon; grapes, pineapple, and strawberries being among their favorites. They stand at the coop door and chatter vociferously, impatiently waiting for the “Rancherette” to calm their ruffled feathers. We obviously keep plenty of fresh water for them to drink. There are fans in their roosting coops for an air flow through their buildings. And did I mention the show birds domicile? These are the cream of the crop, uh, flock. They attend the chicken shows and bring home the bacon, uh, ribbons. They have they own individual pens, in an air conditioned building, never touching the ground or feeling the hot breeze outdoors.  They have it made in the shade, so to speak.

So, finally, the skies have opened up and delivered the much needed moisture. For three days, we have seen almost three inches of slowly absorbing rain, the kind necessary to break a drought. But, the kennel dogs do not like the rain any better than the misting system. The show birds do not even know it’s raining. It’s business as usual for them. The outdoor Silkie chickens do not care one way or another. All pens have some shade covering; but does not prevent the rain, so, instead of dust baths they now take mud baths. Good for the skin, I’m told, but their crested heads are having a bad hair day. In this case, they are wetter than an old mad hen.

The good news? Plants and grass are smiling. The water meter is smiling. The electric meter is smiling and the air conditioner gets a break. I’m smiling. Nature is smiling.

 

 

 

 

Sun’s Gonna Shine in my Backdoor Someday

Well, hello there and in the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, I’m back., sorta. I have been on the mend for several weeks now and with my current medications, the severe bouts with RA are dwindling. This is what has kept me from my writings for several months. I can certainly empathize with anyone who suffers from this immune system irregularity. It is said you can’t really know what another person feels unless you walk in their shoes. My feet are firmly implanted in the shoes of a sufferer of RA. But now, after many doctor visits, specialists, x-rays, MRI’s, medications, and all those wonderful prayers, it appears that this old “ritus” character is going into remission.  I continue to improve; however, my treatment plan still requires medicine.

For the better part of four months, I was unable to drive. The “Rancherette” did all the driving. I might add, well appreciated. Now that I have some degree of mobility, I can drive my truck again. A few days ago, I was returning from a trip to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription and with the modern day conveniences of satellite radio, I was listening to my type of music. I am a huge fan of Bluegrass music. At that particular moment, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs were sounding off to an old tune that seems to fit my situation, at least the opening line. I turned the volume up. Being alone in my truck, I am allowed to turn the volume up loud. Not so much when the “Rancherette” is with me.

The tune, “Sun’s gonna shine in my backdoor someday”, speaks for me, especially here in the middle of August, in Texas, where the temperature is a balmy 103 today and a heat index approaching 110. And since my back door faces west, I can feel the brunt of that heat.

Living in a rural area, I am exposed to many facts of nature. As I was driving home, I noticed a lonely oak tree in the middle of a pasture. Mind you now, this was not a large oak tree. It bordered on a twenty to twenty-five feet umbrella. A nice enough shade but not very large.

Standing underneath this canopy was a small herd of cows. They were huddled so close together that I doubt one could slip a sheet of paper between them. At first glance, they appeared conjoined. I am well aware that cows prefer the shade to the hot sun. However, they were so tightly packed together that I cannot believe they were feeling any cooling effect. Cows have a “pecking order” just like chickens. If one does rank high enough in that order, then they do not share any benefits. They are left out in the cold, except in this case outside the parasol of the shade tree. There were two or three standing in the sun just on the edge of the shade. I assume the “leader” had the best spot.  And if I had rolled down my windows, I probably would have noticed a scent of bovine methane. They must ignore that aroma or maybe they do not have a good sense of smell. I noticed one cow standing in the tank, (if you are from South Texas or pond if you are from somewhere else). I figured she (or he) was the smartest cow of all, not to mention, the coolest. One can learn a lot from observing cows.

But that tune by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs means to me that “someday” has arrived. The sun is shining through my windows and doors and the sky is so blue and the trees are waving greetings at me when I walk out the “back door” without my cane and the cottontail rabbits stop and wiggle their noses at me.  The birds chatter a “welcome back” chirp. The kennel dogs seem glad to see me, even the chickens seem to recognize my voice. Yessiree, God is good. And because we need a cooling down and rain, showers are quenching the thirst of the plant life today and the temperature is hovering around 72 degrees in the middle of the day. God is indeed good.

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