Country Notebook: Hope is a funny thing

Updated: Sep 19


The highlight of a recent day was when I observed a young heifer standing in the middle of the gravel road with the owner looking for clues as to the escape route. With her confident pose, I think she wanted to tell the cowboy to give up his efforts as she planned to eat the greener grass on the other side. Both had hope, but with different outcomes. It was kinda funny. But only to me, of course.


The inspiration for a story on hope came from a tiny dandelion I observed in my yard. Its presence was remarkable considering the August heat and how much weed killer I put down in my yard. If a dandelion can have hope, then I can, too.


Thus, I am hopeful my attempts at frequent lawn watering will turn brown dormant grass into lush green come either rain and or cooler temperatures. I hope the pond from which I irrigate will not go dry.


A successful harvest of my forty acres of soybeans will not determine whether I eat this winter, but realistically I wonder if the cost of fuel will exceed any profit. My six-inch high soybeans are setting on and the pods are looking just as dwarf in size. Our six inch rains, i.e. six drops in six inches are not ample for good summer crop production. With plenty of spring rains, I am realistically hopeful the hay bales will be adequate in quality and quantity to outlast the winter for those with cattle.


My horses know my schedule and also the sound of my all-terrain vehicle. Patiently they wait at the trough for the bucket of grain I throw over, needed as a supplement to the dry grass. When I am running late, Charlie-horse and Midnight will stand in the dark hoping for the highlight of their day.


When I say “Hope is a Funny Thing” it is not funny as in ha-ha or a joke. There are many words in our language to define “hope” like trust, faith, anticipation, desire, and optimism, all an expression of positive thoughts. I could go on but the one I associate with hope is resilience. Having hope is looking at a glass of water filled to the half-way mark. Is the glass half-full or half-empty? Those with resilience will see the glass as half-full and continue to look for ways to fill it to the brim. Without hope, the glass will always be half empty.


To see the events of life, with hope, I look for a Plan B. Plan B is to pick the blooming dandelion before it turns into fluffy, far-floating seeds. Plan B is to reduce the amount of water I’m currently draining from the pond knowing cooler weather is on the way. A Plan B forces me to conserve, reducing waste. To keep the horses from wasting hay by pulling it apart and standing in it, I place the bales in a large water tank.


The funny thing about hope is that given time, patience, a positive thought process and resilience, Plan B may turn out to be as good as or even better than Plan A. Let’s hope I’m right.

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