Saturday, April 10, 2010

Of Furrows and Mule's Ears

This week a farmer passed away here in my town.  I didn't know him, but he always seemed such an interesting character.  He was 94 years old, and was still sharp as a tack.  He was still gardening and driving, and just loved to talk.  I guess there is something to say for eating organic home grown foods almost exclusively and staying physically active, but I think luck and genetics favored him a bit as well probably.  He was really down to earth, and a thinker.  In fact, he was a bit famous for offering lots of colorful unsolicited wisdom in the form of long monologues.  Everyone loved him though and he was a pleasure to talk to.

The day before he died, an area television station came to interview him about a mining accident that happened here many years ago.  Hhis family went to his room to wake him to watch the interview on television and found him in his chair.  He had passed quietly at home at 94.

This morning Dad mentioned watching that last interview on the station's web site.  Particularly an analogy caught his attention.  The farmer was talking about his dad and some advice on plowing from years ago.  The father had said that when you plow, you don't look behind at the plow.  You keep looking straight ahead, right between the mule's ears or you might end up three furrows over.  The farmer said he had applied this to a lot of areas in life beyond plowing.  I guess its a fairly colorful way of saying "Keep your eye on the prize."

I think anyone in transition can take a lot from that statement if you think about it.  Don't look back over where you have been.  There's not much point in looking back over what you wish you had done.  And looking to the side at furrows still left isn't too useful.  The important thing is the furrow that you are on in the hear and now, and keeping it straight with a keen eye on the immediate objective ahead.  

I think that's me right now.  I'm not wasting too much time with regrets about my late start in transition anymore.  And I'm not obsessing over the parts still further on, that I don't know how to manage yet.  I've got a plan for the rest of this field, but right now I've got my eye at the end of the furrow I'm making.  

I could maybe use a faster mule though. :P


Tina said...

Very good analogy my dear. I use to love to sit in the old General Store and listen to the old folk's stories when I was a kid. Some were almost unbelievable. I came to realize later that many would sacrifice truth for the sake of entertainment though. :p

Reminds me of the story of old Farmer Bill. He raised several acres of popcorn back in those days. As he was plowing the fields with his mule on one of those blistery hot July days, the popcorn actually began to pop! Soon the ground was nearly covered and the poor mule thought it was snowing and laid down and froze to death. :(

Keep lookin' ahead sister... You're making progress!

Peace, <3 Tina

NickyB (aka the CFG) said...

I'm sure anything you plant will bear fruit! :-) x x x

Anonymous said...

A great life lesson for EVERYONE. As for you getting a late start on your transition...there are quite a few ladies my age (59) that are just starting theirs. My friend Lindsay is in her mid fifties and is only one year into her transition. You're right use looking back. Taking your eyes off the road...or your goal in when so many accidents occur.

I would just say though, never forget that your goal, if not enriched with love and interaction with the rest of the world, will end up leaving you feeling empty. I don't see that happening with you though. Nothing we want in life is guaranteed...I don't care what Obama promises. Keep up the good work my friend. :)Suzi

caroline said...

This is so right. what is gone is gone and as Suzi said many of us have decades more gone than you have but no amount of energy wasted on the past is worth it, save it for the future which comes round faster than you think possible.

Caroline XXX

Melissa said...

Shandy, you are doing such a good job of staying focused on what's directly in front of you, and best thing about that is, that each little success builds your confidence to keep forging ahead. Before you know it, the little steps will have all been taken care of, and you will have reached your ultimate goal.

Melissa XX

Anonymous said...

That farmer does sound like an interesting man, and with a wise mind indeed.

Jerica Truax said...

Great advice. I'm glad you're able to get past regrets. Regrets are hard to deal with and I know exactly how that can go. I think I am able to move on for the most part but sometimes those regrets come up again or even doubts. Tis a part of life, I suppose.


<3 Jerica