Do you ever feel like the real you just isn't valued in this world?
Let's be honest, there are certain traits, careers, choices that are much more "valued" than others. Not always by just money or by the sexy or the hero or the martyr "wow" factor...
But the other day I watched a short film on the return of the wolves into Yellowstone and how many aspects of the circle of life did change - ok maybe not so good for some of the deer, but in the bigger picture, balance was returned.
Then I had an interesting discussion with a woman who is trying to help within a charity organization that is good at the touchy feely stuff, not so much with money and legal issues.
She told me how she needed to find accountants and lawyers and such to be on the board to round out the group so that they could stay out of trouble with the rules and regulations (another issue, but for another day.)
I had asked her actually about the courage to just be your self when the self you really are isn't in the "we love you" catagory - but more in the, oh - you again, catagory...
But her reply that one, it took cancer for her to say who cares, just live the life you want - and two, even though she's not as good at the touchy/feely stuff as other members, maybe her gifts will keep them all able to help more in the long run.
And then I put all three things together. A whole lotta people don't want wolves in the wild. Not a whole lotta people want to be the nuts, bolts, and legalize when no money is to be made. And so far, no one is really up for me as me - just being honest - as witnessed by my history with people, jobs, friends, housing, etc.
But maybe we are all necessary - I won't say a necessary evil, because I don't believe any of us - wolves, lawyers, or me want to hurt others.
But I do get that maybe we don't make others very happy. But there is more to the circle of life than the warm and fuzzy parts. There is more than being a hero. There is more than being the rock star. There is the person who cleans up, organizes the details, and tells the touchy/feely people what they don't want to but need to hear.
Just a thought. And here is the video about the wolves - we are after all, all God's Creatures - though I'm not so sure about mosquitos...
I have been planning for today a while now. My plan was to outline a book I have been wanting to write for some time... but I'm an all or nothing kind of writer so it needs to be the only thing I do while I am doing it.
So, today I planned for that.
Then, the phone rang. "I heard you wanted to see a baby calf born? How soon can you get here?"
I'm leaving in 10 minutes was my reply.
There in the distance, next to the windmills is where I needed to get to.
So, almost 20 miles of dirt road later - and a really cool climb up the plateau you see in the distance - I made it to the ranch.
I still had no idea what was happening so I grabbed gloves and my camera and into another truck we went.
I thought we would be next to the house - new cow moms and all, but we drove another mile and a bit farther.
These expectant and new momma cows are all having babies for the first time so they get a much closer watch.
The owner of the ranch and his wife and me pulled up into the middle of the herd, they cut the engine, then asked me if I was planning on staying a while.
Well, panic was my first thought. My second was of course I had to relieve my self - tea and a very bumpy 20 miles of dirt road and well, you know...
"How long will we wait here?" I asked. "Oh, it could be from 1-3 hours," was the reply. More panic. I hate to be the the typical California girl here... but confessed there was a situation brewing...
Thankfully there were a few panels to hide behind - first thing you have to accept in the rural world, squatting is just something you have to do.
Mostly I was disappointed because I was in a truck trying to see a cow give birth who was hiding behind low brush facing the one way none of us could see much.
We hung around and watched the expectant mom walk, finally lay down, pop out one foot, lay around some more, make some pushing efforts, then she got up and walked away. This wasn't looking good so I asked what was next.
She'll need to be checked and then we will see.
So, he checked. He decided she needed help. And then this is where it all went wrong....
There were quite a few cows around at the same time. The plan was to get her into the corral where I had just visited and get ready to pull the calf out.
After some finagaling we got her in. There was a moment where I left a gate open and she tried to make a run for it - rural living rule #2, always lock the gate - got her back in, got her penned which consists of two cow panels in a V to keep her movements confined so - and the gross part - the arm goes in to her private parts.... I am wincing for her.
But.... she is not happy pushes her and the two panels out the gate in front of her which wasn't locked - not my fault this time!
And then she falls down and the plan is to do it quick. Not her plan, up she gets and off she goes to the farthest point away from all of us!
Okay, now what? After a lot of cow wrangling - I make a pretty good herding dog, or so I was told back at the sheep ranch - they drove, I walked and we got all the cows in a pen, then a few, then her.
And, it started all over again. This time I was front and center, or rather on her right side.
She still wasn't happy, but there was a lot less fussing. The key to pulling is going in and getting the two feet and using a wench to extract the calf.
So back in went the hand, thankfully not mine, and out came a whole lot of poop - everywhere. And splash it went on me, on the cow, but mainly on the man with his hand up her you know what. I was wearing gloves. He was not. I have learned on farms and ranches ALWAYS have gloves with you!
By this time I was dying for a drink of water, but happily traded thirst over gloves, good choice I think!
This time everything got hooked up and I even got to help pull, sort of - the wench was stuck so I helped push the gate it was attached to as leverage to extract the calf.
He came head first - I don't think that is supposed to be the way it goes, but I came into the world that same way, so instant bonding on my part!
He was also alive - yea! On the ground we all rubbed and watched to see if he could get enough air into his lungs. A little, still waiting.
He got moved out of the way and then a huge splat! - the rest of the gush came out of momma - happily I was far enough away to not get hit by this round.
And here he is!
I couldn't get many pictures since my hands were busy helping and then we needed to leave so the momma would go to him. Humans tend to interrupt the cleaning and bonding process.
People wonder why I chose to do all this and it is moments like this that are exactly why. Seeing a baby cow born may not be something everyone wants to do - but this life where man, animal, and nature all collide - is awesome.
Shopping malls, traffic jams, sirens blaring, and dee jays jamming are all distant memories of a life I left long ago. I never miss it, ever.
So thank you baby boy for letting me be a witness to your first day here on planet earth. Welcome to our world and may your horizons be vast, your grass green, and your days spent in peace wandering this beautiful land.
Oh, and tomorrow the yearlings are coming to stay where I am at. I am so excited, we'll have cows here for the next 6 months or so - so stay tuned and see for your self!
Are you preparing to survive someday? Or, are you trying to survive now to get to a better someday?
In a world that seems to need labels to be comfortable with personal beliefs and ideas, I'm settling into the "survival" language that is so out and about these days.
But, with that said.... I'm also becoming aware the word and idea of "survival" means many different things to many different people.
I began my life surviving my childhood.
Then, I lived the first few decades of adulthood trying to survive the aftermath of that and the biology and chemistry of my brain and body as physical and mental problems I hadn't understood.
Then I had to survive the loss of who and what I loved.
Survival took a brief stint to mean preparing for the someday bad thing that might happen - then a bad thing did happen, but not as I expected.
Then survival took on a whole new meaning when living became a day to day kind of thing - with no home, no security, and a whole lot of uncertainty.
But these days, survival is morphing into something new. It's losing the fear of what might happen and becoming more about accepting how it is today and the building of what will be tomorrow.
The more I think about this idea, the more excited I am about it. I've learned the journey itself is the destination. I've let go of wanting to re-create the past or my old life.
I know I don't believe in the old systems.
I know I do believe in what this world could be.
And I am happy to now start hearing others believe in it too.
I'm hearing the young ones, those mostly under 30 who are looking at this world in a new way. So many of the old guard want the past to become the present and the future, again.
But a quick look at history tells you what was good for a few was not so good for the many.
I've known all this for a very long time. But it is now that I am hearing others questioning and seeking these new systems.
And putting all of these pieces together is starting to make a whole lot of sense.
There is a lot to survive right now. But instead of fearing what is or what might get worse, I am excited about what could be.
There is SO much wisdom out there to be learned from the old systems. But why stop there? There is so much technology and new information to create even better systems.
We are meant to grow, to change, to learn, to evolve, to become more - not stagnate and stay the same.
It's the now we need to survive, not tomorrow. It's the new we need to build, not the old.
And that, is something to be excited about! So, drive on my friend!!!
So, I wasn't even going to write today - but it's been a while.
I tried recording the first podcast for the "Surviving the Journey with Jill" series, but well - I'm boring so I need to try again.
Then I thought I will write a blog, then this page wouldn't load.
Things don't seem to be going will in my digital world. My computer is dying. I know I need a new one and have for some time, but it's more money to buy than I have.
So I am in a race with time and the journey is getting very bumpy right now. I hate this part.
Yea, like that - but even that picture didn't load correctly. The background is white so I have no idea why it loaded black... yea, that's the way things have been going.
The bigger issue is my operating system is too old for the internet to support (among other things) and so many of the functions I need to use no longer work correctly.
Today is a bit black and while out.
But as much as it feels gray and bumpy and frustrating... It also feels hopeful. Spring is my favorite time of year. It is the time when hope blooms.
If I can survive these setbacks... I have a very good feeling about 2014. I may be standing alone, but I feel like it is good to be standing again.
I love this picture - you may recognize it from where I have used it before. But this is who we are - meant to stand tall, strong, beautiful and powerful.
Even when your freakin' equipment doesn't do the same thing!
I'm going to quit now and see if this will even upload... only I will know for sure it seems. But I will be back, though I don't know when. Sooner if the computer fairies will give me a little more time with the equipment...
Welcome to my Journey!
I'm inviting you to join me on my journey as I seek to find a new way of being in an old set of systems. It's hard, but worth it!