Living on the prairie isn’t romantic. You always know the very worst things are just around the corner; there’s always a threat of injury or death for the animals or some impending natural disaster–burning heat, gale-force winds, floods, ground blizzards.
It starts before dawn; you’re behind from yesterday before you begin. There’s too much work to be done and not enough money to pay for it. It isn’t a retirement plan; it’s the hard physical work, but at least the days are long and the environment fights back. Some body part or another is always hurting, some fence or other always needs repair. There’s the eternal struggle between life and death, whether it’s ducklings on the pond or a slow-moving elder horse. Sometimes it’s as quick as a splash, but mostly it’s a long slow arm-wrestle of a fight. In the end, death eventually wins. I try to make friends with the things I can’t change but I still fight.
Then as I’m dragging through evening chores and slowing up to share a breath with the herd, a thought creeps into my brain. It isn’t happiness or relief. It’s more like, “I should be much more depressed than I am.” and then the realization that today was a good day.
Anna Blake, Infinity Farm.
(WordPress Photo Challenge is a weekly prompt to share a photo- I enjoy twisting these macro prompts to share our micro life here on the Colorado prairie. My photos are taken with my phone, on my farm. No psych, definitely not high tech.)
Available now: Stable Relation, a memoir of one woman’s spirited journey home, by way of the barn. It’s the story of the farm I grew up on, the farm I have now, and the horse who carried me in between. Available at all online book sellers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. To get updates and the inside story, sign up for my newsletter here: Prairie Moon News. Thank you.