From Pipi’s Pasture: Contentment
Last Tuesday was a day that I will remember for some time. It wasn’t a holiday, my birthday, or any other day of celebration. It was a usual day for me except that it was one of contentment. This is how it happened.
That morning after corral chores were finished and I was back in the house, it started to snow. I settled myself down at the dining room table with a cup of hot coffee, propped my feet up on the little stool under the table, and took out my legal pad and pen.
Through the dining room window I watched the snow blowing sideways. The three cows in the pasture just over the yard fence were happily eating their hay as were the cows at the corral. I could see twenty-nine-year-old Sarah standing near the loafing shed. Having finished her grain and some hay, she was seeking shelter in the shed.
A robin with fluffed-up feathers tried to settle down on one of the branches on the crab apple tree despite the wind, and four barn cats hurried through the gate to the hay yard and toward the corral, probably seeking shelter in a haystack. No matter the snow, the animals were all doing fine.
As I sat at the table with my pad and pen, I was surprised to be feeling unusually content. I wear a lot of hats these days. I’m not unhappy—far from it—but I lead a “hurry, hurry, hurry” life, trying to juggle chores, appointments, and deadlines. My brain, in particular, is especially busy, and, strange as it may seem, much of its activity is even done unconsciously.
Take the Monday before as an example of a typical day. I got a last-minute appointment to get my COVID vaccination, so I had to rearrange my appointments for the day. I did morning chores as usual, but then about three hours later I did my afternoon corral chores, too. This was in case I had some surprise side effects from the vaccination—so I wouldn’t have to go back to the corral afterward if I didn’t want to. It was hurry, hurry to get everything done and make the appointment and then still keep a phone appointment that evening. (Luckily, I was just fine)
So on Tuesday it was snowing. I couldn’t work outdoors, except for corral stuff. I didn’t have to go anywhere. The animals had been fed. My only phone appointment was that evening. The only pressing deadline was to finish some reports. Watching the snow fall was relaxing. Without even realizing it, I gave myself permission to let the other things go—thus the feeling of contentment.
When I think about it, I realize that I should be in control of my life—not the other way around. I have the power to enjoy more days of complete content.
As I look out the window, I can see my three cows. They are lying close together on the feedlot, noses slightly raised, as they chew their cuds. It’s contentment.
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