Heather Hamilton-Maude: What a mess
The last of the cattle are on summer pasture. Sure, there were a few rioters, but they all found themselves on the last potload. Some continue to participate in what appears to be a peaceful march back home, but, they will be rerouted back where they belong until we get the water gap fixed. One dry cow destroyed personal property; she’s since been sold and may well be burger by now. They were all one distinct, dark color, which may mean something, and may not.
A few of the young pigs escaped and looted. Only one was wearing a homemade facemask; an empty grain sack. The pigs have given zero consideration to social distancing. They oink and squeal at, and possibly bully, anyone who raises a fuss about them being on top of each other. Entire families of a dozen or more have been witnessed enjoying one another’s company, lounging, eating and conversating within mere feet of other large families. They are all one distinct, light color, which may mean something, and may not.
They’re all fed by the same man. He’s tired, grouchy, and frustrated. While they’re off rioting and looting, he’s trying to figure out how to grow the next years’ worth of feed, regardless of what the weatherman says. How to efficiently grow them with the feed on-hand. How to best market them in hopes of getting close to break even. What impact their actions will have on the market between now and when they reach it.
It’s a big weight placed on the shoulders of those who care. The contributors to society, versus those who don’t care. The by-the-book sort are currently being brought up short, while the vandals and villains are running rapport. It’s the first who will ultimately pay for the whole awful mess. The second don’t care; no authority is responding to their illegal tantrums. Something the rest of us cannot fathom.
If only it were so easy as to put in a water gap, haul a load to the sale barn, or rope and choke down other people when they act the way so many are at the moment. But, we aren’t in a position to do that. Not that I haven’t heard it discussed as a viable option in getting them to see the light.
This is a lot bigger than any one of us. The impact is much farther reaching, and in some cases devastating, than we anticipated a few months back. There are so many wrong things happening, and it is sickening.
But, as believers, we all know the ultimate outcome of this, and anything else that follows. We also have the responsibility, in my opinion, to be active and not sit idly by. To do good in whatever way God calls us to do. To continue to love our neighbor, near and far. To pay attention, do our research, and show up to elect people who share our values in political elections. To be the voice of truth in whatever circumstances we feel called to provide it. To be a light in what is a rather dark world at the moment.
Certainly not an easy task, at least not for me. Particularly on the 100-degree days the kids are whining and that peaceful march of cows is on the wrong side of the water gap, again. But, how much better are our days than those of countless other people in our nation right now. How fortunate are we to be where we are, doing what we do.
That is also not an accident, and not something to take for granted. Perhaps the best way to be the light is to first find the ways in which God shines His light into our lives, even in hard times.
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the Oct. 16, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News