There have been a handful of times over a number of years when randomly I have been told I should write a book. While I have to admit it has crossed my mind a few times (not sure it’s ever been very seriously), I haven’t yet felt what I would say is really something new that hasn’t already been written about. Even more, my usual response (aloud or otherwise) is, “who would want to read what I have to say?”
I’ve been in a lot of barn stalls—horses, pigs, cows, chickens—and then there’s the dog yard. And it doesn’t matter how big or how small the animal, or even how many, they all have…manure. Sometimes the manure is big, sometimes it’s small, and sometimes it’s in between. Sometimes there are pieces of various sizes all at the same time. I can leave the barn or the yard and forget about it for awhile, but at some point, it begins to smell. Add some rain, or turn on the sprinklers, and it will be difficult to deny its existence, not to mention how the mess gets worse. Oh, and the deeper it gets, the more it gets tracked and spread around. It has to be cleaned out, regularly. But I digress.
Sometimes the manure in our lives is big, sometimes it’s small, and sometimes it’s in between. Even sometimes there are pieces of various sizes all at the same time. We might avoid seeing it for awhile (just don’t look at it), but at some point, it begins to smell. Add some rain, or turn on the sprinklers (think stress, struggles, frustrations, etc), and it will be difficult to deny its existence. And it gets deeper and tracked and spread around. It has to be cleaned out, regularly. But again, I digress.
The thing is, I’ve discovered that even in the midst of manure, there is often a freshness. It was in the middle of cleaning the barn one day, manure rake in hand, that I realized how intensely therapeutic it all was (is) for me. And I knew that it wasn’t the first time I had come to that realization. In the brightness of the sun shining, with the birds flying in and out of their nest in the barn rafters, and Kody’s soft muzzle against the back of my arm (my “pocket pony” always wanting attention!), I knew I was cleaning out more than barn manure.
And so, the idea for “Manure Therapy” was conceived. Day, weeks, months and more than a year passed.
Then on a recent afternoon, as we’re driving down the highway, Mark starts telling me about a conversation he had with his friend Tom. Somehow in their conversation Mark tells Tom about me having “muck therapy.” After listening to him talk more about their conversation, I tell him that, actually, it’s “manure therapy.” At which point we laugh and say, yeah, well no matter what you call it, it’s all just a bunch of shit.
Later that evening, I knew it was time. And here we are. Not everything here will be about barns and animals and manure. In fact, most of it won’t. But I am a country girl at heart, no matter what my circumstances may be from one season to another. I am a sucker for animals, and there is nothing like all of nature to speak when I need to hear.
So thanks for stopping in. I hope you stick around as I share my thoughts, ponderings, introspections, daydreams, humor, and probably some occasional opinionated venting. If you smile, laugh, cry, question, feel encouraged, become motivated, or in some way have your heart move, I have succeeded.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go muck some stalls…. (if it’s been awhile, you might want to check your barn!)