I spent a lot of time gazing out my bedroom window this past weekend while watching the rain, as it poured down in heavy, torrents. It occurred to me, how much we need nature’s gift in the way of abundant rainy seasons each year. Most people who live off the land, those who raise food for themselves, their livestock or otherwise, entirely depend on Nature for the success of their livelihood while living in the country.
Water is life. In the country, on farms and ranches, water means everything. Without water, there isn’t any growth or prosperity of life. Without water, life can’t thrive as it should, and if a lack of water persists, life eventually ceases to exist. This we see in places like the Sahara Desert, where it receives less than three inches of rain each year.
At our ranch, with little rain, vegetation becomes dry and the animals don’t thrive as abundantly as they should. Animals, such as rabbits, squirrels and quail who live within the vicinity, are seen less often because their numbers are few. Predatory animals, like the coyote, hawk and fox, suffer because the abundance of food, diminishes rapidly. This we’ve seen in the hot summer months when the land is parched and dry. Water is the wheel that generates the cycle of life.
Every year, we plow the fields, a total of 80 acres, and plant oats for our horses. The price of hay bales has exploded within the past 4 years and the thought of buying bales for 25 horses is absolutely out of the question, which is why we decided to grow our own food. Not only would this save us an incredible sum of money, we also assure ourselves, the horses will be eating good quality food, which keeps them healthy and in good condition, all year.
Fortunately, during these past years, the rainy seasons have been good and because of that, we’ve fed our horses the entire year, on what we cultivate at the ranch, in addition to what they eat when they are loose and roaming in the hills. So far, nature has been kind to us and we are extremely appreciative.
As I continued to watch the rain fall, a dense fog moved in, landing to rest just below the mountain peaks. This locked in more cold and soon hail began to fall. My attention, immediately drawn to the click, click of ice, as it landed on the patio outside, sent my thoughts to the bright fire inside the wood burning stove, across the room. I was incredibly grateful for the warmth it sent me.
This past weekend, it rained day and night for three days straight. The oat fields are secure. There will be food for the horses all year. The animals and vegetation around us will thrive and life will continue as it should, prosperous and abundant, thanks to nature’s gift of a good rain season.
Sometimes it takes a good rain storm to slow us down. It’s during these times we are able us to appreciate everything around us. The sun, water and the food we eat, are the spokes that turn the wheel in the cycle of life, and all of which, allow us to thrive.