“These people have learned not from books, but in the fields, in the wood, on the river bank. Their teachers have been the birds themselves, when they sang to them, the sun when it left a glow of crimson behind it at setting, the very trees, and wild herbs.”Anton Chekhov
I visited my friend’s ranch and winery in Creston, California for a few days. Here are some of the lessons that I have learned.
When you take an egg from a hen, pet her and leave one egg for her to sit on.
Have empathy for those around you even if they are chickens.
Feed the animals early in the morning. It even says that in the Bible. Feed the animals before yourself. Once you are responsible for something, you must take care of it.
Every time we went hiking or rode in the four by four vehicle. Bandit ran along side of us. The dog ran all day long, stopping to jump in the lake or horse trough to cool off. Bandit is not afraid to get down and dirty rolling in the dirt to dry off. What are we so afraid of? We don’t always have to be clean and perfect all the time. Physical exercise and activity is scientifically proven to release endorphins, making us happier. That’s why Bandit looks happiest when he is running.
The white dogs, Blanche and Stanley (named after Donna’s parents) protect the house all night long and sleep during the day. They have a purpose and they are faithful. There are no ulterior motives, no mind games, no second-guessing, no complicated negotiations or bargains, and no guilt trips or grudges.
The fourth dog Lizzie knows the importance of family and quiet time which is something we all need. She sits in the four by four with Barry when he goes out.
Looking at the sheep, cows, horses and their babies, connects us back to how simple life is supposed to be.
Just assume that every gun is loaded. It’s the first rule of gun safety. Guns on a ranch are tools. It is the crazy person that was able to buy the gun legally that is the problem.There are certain things that you should always be careful around.
You were so close. Try again. I think this one is self-explanatory.
Pass the bush and turn right at the tree. It’s taken me a long time to learn the importance of good directions. Know when it’s time to make positive changes. Proactively make the change for yourself or they may be made for you.
An alluvial fan is a fan-shaped deposit of sediment crossed and built up over thousands of years by streams.
In dry areas they help with irrigation. Beauty and art take time.
Hiking up a hill for me is harder than going down but going down is tricky. The secret is to be unaffected either way.
Being in nature, deepens our human connection to the world. It just makes you feel better to pay attention to the sights and sounds of the ranch.
It helps to have a Fernando. Everyone should have someone in their life who is kind, helpful, responsible, intelligent, creative and there for you. It is good to have people around who support what you do with or without a plan.
If a gate is closed, leave it closed. If a gate is open, leave it open.
There will always be closed gates or doors but others will be open. Have faith and keep moving forward.
Thanks to Donna and Barry whose hearts are even bigger than the ranch.
And Maureen (camper of the days) and Mike for making it such a fun trip.
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