Special thanks to LiveOnceLiveWild.com for sponsoring this post.
One of the essential things we lack as a society is patience. We want everything now; be it the latest, greatest phone, car, home, clothes, or job to name a few. Our inability, or lack of desire, to forego what we want, when we want can and does get us into trouble.
Living on the prairie of South Dakota will teach you to be prepared, be practical and be patient. The best laid plans of
mice and men, ranchers often go awry, especially when Mother Nature wields her power. People have lived on the prairie long before there was electricity, generators, big, fancy green tractors, pickups with heated seats and/or steering wheels, and lived to tell about their adventures — because they were prepared, practical and patient.
Folks here stayed home when there was a blizzard, or when temperatures dipped well below zero. They knew you could get lost in your own yard when the snow and wind came at the same time, and as such, barns were close to home, and various techniques were employed to make sure they could still feed the animals housed in the barn, or that they had fuel to warm their homes. They waited until the storm had passed to go feed their cows or go to town.
Today, with all the technology available to us, I think we’ve forgotten how to wait. We figure the pickup should take us where we need to go. That we can get to the cows in our fancy, green tractor and, that dang it, all, we shouldn’t have to go without electricity.
The blizzard that rolled through here Christmas night was a good reminder to me that I’m not as patient as I should or could be. We were without power for two days and I nearly went stir crazy. Our generator will run the lights, but not the geothermal heat pump. Fortunately, we have a gas stove, so I could cook, and I keep a well-stocked pantry and freezer, so in that regard, I’m practical and prepared. I wasn’t prepared, however for the waiting, and that’s a lesson that’s never bad to practice.
Waiting applies to starting our colts, teaching our kids, or even sorting cows: wait. Wait on the colt to find the answer, wait for the cow to find the gate, or wait for the kids to learn the hard way. I’m sure many of us are often inclined to push the colt through the rough patch (I try to avoid this so I don’t get my arse bucked off!), the cow through the gate, or make the decision for the kid, but that doesn’t help any of them learn, and it certainly doesn’t help us gain any patience.
I hope that next time I feel like the world has come to a near end due to Mother Nature, I’ll be better prepared to just sit and wait.
Have you learned any lessons about patience recently?
This was originally written for Ag week.