We can learn from animals
We share our little (and I mean seven-acres little) ranch just north of Rifle with a lot of animals. OK, we don’t have a cattle ranch with 1,000 head, but we do have quite a menagerie of critters. For starters, we’re responsible for what I like to term “14 heartbeats.” We’ve got Winn and Dixie the New Orleans rescue cats, George and Lily the other two felines, Kody the Aussie shep and Jo Mama the golden Lab, Lena the lamb, Bernardo and Louis the goats, Mercy and Big Mare the horses, and Gwenie, Bill and Clyde the camels. No, we don’t have a partridge in a pear tree. Not yet anyway.
On top of that troop, we board an additional 14 horses. We’re running a four-legged retreat. Because so many critters are underfoot and overhead, I spend a lot of time with them, watching them and seeing how they live. And that can prove pretty enlightening. Literally.Think about how much time, for example, some humans spend trying to be enlightened. There are retreats to teach people to relax, to chill out, to meditate, and to live right in the here and now with no past and no future. But all you need to do is watch a group of horses hanging out, or a couple camels checking out the day. They’ve got the living-in-the-now thing nailed, without even trying.
I’ll leave in the morning, full of worry and stress about how I’m going to get everything done on deadline, and the critters will just watch me patiently as I open the gate, close it and head down the highway. At night, when I come back, there they are again, standing together, eating some hay, watching a bird fly overhead. The cats are the royalty of the self-actualized life. When they’re not sleeping, they’re playing. When they’re not playing, they’re eating. And they get three squares and a free place to live without lifting a paw. Plus they get petted, and they never have to respond to any commands. Sit? Shake? You’re kidding, right? Please.
Sometimes, I think that this would drive me batty to be like them – to have to stand, sit and lie around day in and day out – with nothing to do, no deadlines to hit, no form to my life but right this second.But when I come in the door after work and see Kody and Jo standing there so happy to see me, I start feeling sort of jealous of their open-ended life – so honest and right now, and so full of unbridled love.Carrie Click is the editor and general manager of The Citizen Telegram in Rifle (citizentelegram.com). On the weekends, you can find her with the camels, watching birds fly overhead. Carrie can be reached at 384-9170, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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