If I am being brutally honest with you, it’s been harder than usual to find things to be thankful about this year. My Gramma died. I’ve had a probe and biopsies taken 6 (soon to be 7) times since May to figure out which food is killing me. My cats aren’t allowed in my bedroom anymore because apparently they are killing me. My football team is terrible. Some of my favorite wild horses disappeared. Adobe Town, Salt Wells, and Divide Basin got ransacked by the BLM again. Mass euthanasia or slaughter of captive wild horses still hasn’t been stopped…
Okay obviously some of those are a little more serious than others. But let’s be real, 2017 has been rough.
The easy thing to do would be to go super cliché and find all these positive things in light of the trials, and far be it from me to be ever be anything but cliché so here we go! (I’ve also been reading Ecclesiastes a lot lately so to those of you who get that reference: you’ve been warned)
Death is probably the hardest thing to tackle. Much like the Nebraska defense, I’m incapable of tackling and don’t really see the point in even bothering to try. That’s okay. Apparently the coming of our lord & savior is nigh and Scott Frost shall save us all from terrible, sad football!
Anyway… It’s inevitable and animal or human we are forever pushing one step closer to the great beyond. The great beyond part doesn’t bother me so much. I’m a Christian and without getting too preachy I realize I’m a big screw up on every level, am completely dependent on the fact Jesus redeemed me through his own death and Resurrection, and will face what comes next with that confidence. That actually losing people and critters I love and care about though… not to mention the thought of what death will actually feel like; I’m assuming painful as heck given Lauryn & my proclivities to stupid stunts in the middle of nowhere…
But I think the one thing I took from this year is to not run from the thought of death. It hurts to lose so much and that’s okay. It’s okay to grieve for Custer and Colonel, Washakie and probably Baja too. They all lived pretty good lives, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t still needed on earth or won’t be missed. It’s okay to grieve for Isadora and to question and get angry about why she had to be taken so early.
The Little Pony Who Could, Kinny, lost a father and an aunt this year. He doesn’t know anything about this, of course. He’s too busy spooking at windmills and picking fights with my White Mountain mustang, Bandit to notice what’s happening two states away. Horses are lucky that way. Thankfully, that kind of attitude is also infectious. Have difficult clients at work? Eh, the second it’s quitting time they no longer exist. Need to actually remember to edit and share photos on your Facebook page? Why? You’re too busy riding the pony around while gawking at otters. Can’t figure out what the heck to eat for supper? Maybe just don’t eat; there’s always breakfast tomorrow! Okay maybe those are a little too specific to be helpful… I think you get the point, though.
Distracting myself with life does seem to do the trick pretty well, though. When I’m busy illegally snuggling up to a cat or watching Lauryn navigate a road up and down muddy Whiskey Peak when it’s sketchy at best, well, I guess I’m too busy living to let my brain get all weird.
Of course, distracting yourself is the exact opposite of what we should all be doing when it comes to the fate of our wild horses. Annoying the crap out of Representatives & Senators in Congress, commenting on a new Environmental Assessment writing the same protests for feels like the eight millionth time, and just being a general nuisance are important. Is it working? Eh, maybe? It doesn’t always feel like it, but I know that without it 50,000 of our beloved horses would have been dead years and years ago.
And then there’s all those little reasons to be thankful across this year. Back in May, I got to see Aurora’s newborn filly take her first steps, something I was so happy to then go and share with all of you. Next, horses I haven’t seen for years started popping out of the sage, like daisies! Then Verity foaled, birthing a perfect little lookalike Colonel right before his dad disappeared, possibly for good.
I’ve had amazing adventures with great friends, one in particular who saves me from so many bad life choices while simultaneously convincing me to make just as many (in case it isn’t obvious, yes, that’s you Lauryn). I’ve gotten to visit new wild horse herds, and share their images, if not their stories, with you. Man, they are so amazing. Whether it’s silly mares who just can’t get along or stallions that look like they’re as likely to fall over mid-rear to nap on their opponent then actually decide anything in a given moment. Whatever their fate may come to, for now life is good. That’s something worth clinging to, for however long it may last.
Or to quote Ecclesiastes 11 (told ya I was on an Ecclesiastes kick), “Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun. However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all. But let them remember the days of darkness, for there will be many. Everything to come is meaningless.”
Whether facing something good, bad, painful, asinine, freaking infuriating (looking at you BLM), the reality is that we are all stuck in this place in time and in this body. Slowly withering away while fools maintain their high positions and the rich occupy the low ones. I guess that is what I am ultimately thankful for. I was put on this Earth at this time, and as maddening as it can be, there is something to be said about running headlong into everything.
If I mourn, it is because I loved deeply. If I get spitting mad at the BLM, it is because I have given my heart to a cause and am wise enough to have my eyes opened to the evils of this world trying to smack it down. If I choke and die, it’s because I just really really wanted some stuffing this Thanksgiving is that really too much to ask for!??
… Kidding. I brought my inhaler and epipen so it’ll probably be fine.
Seriously, though guys. This is a great time to take a step back, a deep breath, and just enjoy. Enjoy your life and family, including those of the furred, invertebrate, and feathered variety. Enjoy these photos. Just live in that moment and let tomorrow worry about itself. I hope that you all have an absolutely amazing Thanksgiving (or just a great Thursday if you are in a different country and don’t celebrate weird U.S. traditions).
I think I’ll end this all off with a quote I saw in an email this morning that sparked this whole mini-rant since it finally gave me inspiration & an excuse to blog:
“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” -Tecumseh