Monday 8 June 2020

Simple joys in a heavy world

I want to write something light and cheerful about our animals and spring and about how life is delightful. But I feel guilty. Isn't it wrong? Doesn't that diminish the struggle of the black movement? Shouldn't I be more of an activist and demand change? Shouldn't I stop being frivolous?

Instagram is slowly returning back to "normal", meaning that the accounts that didn't post personal content last week in an effort to amplify black voices are posting their own photos again. Predictably, there are people complaining and giving them a hard time. How can they do that when there is still police brutality going on? When there is still injustice and wrongful deaths and so much more work that needs to be done?
Here's the thing: we have to stop blaming each other. In no way do I make light of the struggle so many people face. I'm not saying we should move on with our lives as we did before, ignorant and blind and silent. 
I'm saying we shouldn't stop spreading joy. We can't! Joy and difficulty can coexist - have coexisted as long as the world exists, in fact. If we wait to be light and frivolous until the world is put to rights, we will never be able to be light and frivolous again. And that would be a tragedy!

Guilt-tripping people for trying their best is not helping anyone. It simply spreads more hate and conflict, and we absolutely don't need more of that. 

But you know what we need? More happy animals! Here is a video I took last week of some joy on our farm:
Animals are everything. They are uplifting, soothing, relaxing, and they make you smile. 
They also teach you how to enjoy life, because animals truly live in the moment: if it's a sunny, warm day, they enjoy it with full abandon. They don't worry about the next rain storm. 

You know who's particularly enjoyable to watch? Cows.
I never saw myself as someone who would raise cattle one day, but that's life for you; it's full of surprises. They are incredibly soothing to be around. When Rich was so sick in the fall of 2017, I often hunkered down in front of the cows and watched them eat their Timothy hay while quietly sobbing into my hands. The rhythmic chewing would lull me into a kind of trance, helping me forget for a moment that my world was crumbling around me. Cows have beautiful, soulful eyes, and I would stare into them, hoping to find an answer to the question if everything would ever be alright again. 

As you know, it did become alright again! Rich has recovered beautifully, and despite his Lyme disease being chronic, he is living his best life. 
Aside from the antibiotics and my excellent care (it's true!), the biggest factor in his healing has been his animals. Nothing gives him greater joy than being around his furry and feathered friends. They are what got him out of bed even on his hardest days, and they are what give his life meaning and purpose. 
The same has become true for me. I've been living the farmlife for over 17 years, and I can't imagine another lifestyle. A perfect evening for us is sitting outside in front of the horse and sheep pasture, surrounded by dogs, watching the chickens scratch in the dirt and sipping a drink. Who needs a beach when you can have that?
The prospect of not being able to go on vacation hasn't hit us hard at all. Aside from not being able to see our family, we are happy as clams on our little farm. We have everything here we ever wanted: sunshine, clean air, the smell of pine and mountains in the air, and all our beloved animals around us. 
The world at large is heavy right now - but our little world is peaceful and full of light. 

It's important for every single person to create a little oasis for themselves. Especially in troubling times we need an escape to relax and recharge. 
Create your own paradise and go there often! We can only make the world a better place if we are rested and take care of ourselves.    
Here's to more light, joy, kindness and acceptance of each other!



  1. Thanks for the smiles this morning, Miriam! It is so important to keep the light alive.

    1. Agreed! Nobody does it better than animals 🖤


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