After six weeks at Gentle Giant Meadows, I've been instructed on some of the finer points of life on the ranch. Each day provides challenges and lessons that are unique, and make up the fabric of life here for Maureen, Greg, and the volunteers they welcome into their home. For example, I've learned how to dodge a half-ton cow in season, I've crafted the art of tackling spirited young rams, and overcome fears in facing Hitchcock-esque encounters with turkeys in small, enclosed spaces. Life here on the ranch has had me learning how to confidently grab hold of an animal’s foot whose hoof is the size of my face, and whose back I can’t see over, even on my tiptoes. I've wielded a chainsaw skillfully enough to lower my mother’s blood pressure upon seeing the pictures (hopefully, sorry Mom). And I've learned how not to crash the tractor into various structures around the farm (a skill learned only through experience).
These examples only begin to give you a picture of the lessons learned everyday here on the ranch; however, the biggest lesson I will take away from my time here is how to pursue what you love most with who you love most. Maureen and Greg go on smiling through the horse poop, and the sheep poop, and the cow poop, and ESPECIALLY the chicken poop (that one is hard to smile through), and they do it because they are passionate about their work, and get to spend each day building something with the one they love. It is not often that you get to see two people so genuinely enjoying what they do, and whom they do it with, and that has been an inspiration. Over the last six weeks, with care and thoughtful instruction, I've learned many of the finer points of ranch life, and, through watching the Washington sun set over the pastures and Maureen and Greg live this dream together, I've learned many of the good, simple, points of ranch life too.
Thanks so much to Anna for reflections. As always, time to go, animals waiting for their breakfast.