The Mountain Mouth

TerrierTown Dog Rescue, Free Cheese and more Priceless Advice

Donkeys and the Meaning of Life May 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — themountainmouth @ 3:06 am

Dear Neighbors,

Don’t you just feel like singing? I’m thinking of that song from “Camelot” – “It’s May!”. Yes, I confess, I dig certain musical comedies. But really, when the sun is deliciously warm and the wildflowers are stupendous, when the birds are tweeting, the frogs a-peeping; in May when the grass is green and the mountain vibrating with life – it’s hard not to feel goofy.

I started taking my camera everywhere last month when it got so darn pretty. Once you leave the gravel road and hit the dirt it is a photo op everywhere you look. This has led to making friends, sort of, with Wildflower the Donkey.* He is there to guard the baby cows from our local pack of feral dogs.

I had heard that donkeys and mules dislike dogs (and other canids like coyotes) while I was researching mustangs, mules, and donkeys. Then I ended up with two mules, and saw it with my own eyes. One day all the horses and mules were loose in the yard, doing some weed whacking, and Butch, (who owes his looks to Jack Russell-beagle-Chihuahua-and –possibly-dachshund ancestors) decided to harass Millie, who was innocently snacking on some Bermuda grass. She trotted away, he followed, barking his head off, and she daintily kicked out her right hind as she went, never breaking stride. Butch literally rolled a few times through the air before landing, then instantly jumped up and shook himself, a clear “I’m good!” in Butch-speak. Both animals then pretended it did not happen. I realized it was true- a mule could easily whop coyote butt. And there is that infamous group of pictures that gets E-mailed around, showing a mule on a packing trip in Montana that kills a mountain lion with its teeth. The pictures don’t look faked! I haven’t talked to my neighbor but I bet Wildflower is doing a good job defending the calves. But if not, maybe he can make a living posing for postcards. Either way he’s living a great life.

Which brings me to my real subject. I was thinking today, whilst doing errands, about how we spend our days. Specifically, I was shopping for food, and thinking it was all kind of pointless. You work, devoting a lot of precious hours, to get money, but then you spend the money just sort of maintaining things so you can get to work the next day. You gotta eat, put gas in the car, buy some new socks, dish soap and dog food, pay the insurance, do the laundry and while you are at it isn’t it about time to wash the car again? Looks like you drove through Hurricane Katrina. As meaningful as Work can be, if it is not doing the thing you absolutely love, then this sense of futility can creep in. Of course the popular wisdom is, find out what you absolutely love to do, find time to do it regardless of everything else going on, and eventually, through the power of The Secret, The Law of Attraction, God, and/or the Power of Your Authentic Self, this thing you love becomes your job and begins to support you.

I believe this entirely, and at the same time, believe in being happy in the moment even when that perfect life I am envisioning seems a tad distant. Maybe it doesn’t even happen all at once, like that big Day I Won the Lottery. (I am not a big gambler, by the way; one vice of which I am pure, in case anyone is keeping track.) Maybe the Perfect Life gets that way through degrees.

One of my Perfect Life fantasies is  getting up with the sun, having some leisurely coffee and oatmeal, and doing some yoga or go for a walk, and write until mid-day; then grab Reno and go on a nice ride up the mountain or over to Murder Cabin. Then some lunch, a little more writing or reading… later, a great dinner, play some poker (Hah! You got me!) music, friends, jalapeños, etc. Or spend the evening alone with the dogs in bed and watch a movie. And of course there is a lot of Romance in there too, but you don’t want to hear about that, I’m sure.

And duh, I have that Perfect Life right now. I don’t get it every day, but I get a lot of it every day. A lot of the hours are mine to do with as I wish and so it boils down to a choice. Life certainly is precious and it surely comes down to a finite time of days and hours, and our choice of what we do with them becomes who we are. It is way too easy to get swept up in events and chores and other people’s agendas and various and obligations and responsibilities, way too easy to get sucked in to TV, dumb magazines and the Internet. Boy, the Internet can really suck your entire day! Does an innocent stand a chance between Facebook, Googling, twittering and apparently highly addictive games like Farmland? I too, would love to adopt a virtual horse. Except I already have four actual adopted horses. (counting the dog kicking Mille mule).

I am not perfect. Some days, some hours, countless minutes, I have spent fairly pointlessly, not consciously, not fully. Opportunities passed by, wrong words said, wrong choice made. But the great thing is that right now I am doing something I love. And when I finish, I might have a long, hot bath, a massage from a friend, a great book and a glass of wine… but not before checking Facebook.

See you in cyberspace,

The Mountain Mouth

*Wildflower is not his real name.

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6 Responses to “Donkeys and the Meaning of Life”

  1. Dorothy Hartmann Says:

    This IS my all time favorite post of yours ( So Far that is ) because I know there are more great things to come because you ARE the embodiment of living what you write about. From just one more of your friends/fans- those who have come to know and love, loveable you, your fellow wayfarer in the mountains, Dorothy

  2. Dawn Foster Says:

    It’s Farmville silly girl, not farmland. That dang game got deleted off my computer. I was addicted to it. Hours a day I tell you. Well it got the ax! Dawn

  3. Kim Says:

    I was so excited to see in this month’s Fence Post that you now have a blog! I eagerly await your articles each month in the paper, now I can get my fix without having to wait to pick one up when I’m in town.

  4. Julie Says:

    I love your writing, Kate. Very thought provoking. I will definitely keep visiting!


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