Sunday, December 08, 2019

Six, or … One?


Feeding Horses
Six, or … One?
The Metrics
By Stephen L. Wilmeth


            Feeding horses at 4:15 AM offers perspectives the urban, secular world doesn’t encounter.
            That’s been the routine this week. The four campaigners here at the house know the game. The back gate will rattle only the slightest and at least one of them will greet the tell-tale signal with a soft nicker.
The routine unfolds and it begins by turning the lights on. When it is cold, the tack room, with its nominal heating, begs for a lingering pause. Then it is off into the dark to get it done. Two of the caballos are fed individually and they are close enough to the pole barn and the stacked hay to walk with a fork full of measured ration. The measure is the feel on the fork.
The forks deserve description. They are multiple and there is pride of ownership in the three used. There are two store bought renditions and the third, the favored one, is a blacksmith built antique that came out of my grandparents’ tool bin. It was built by an unknown somebody who had forked hay himself and knew what it was all about. Delicate tines and an equally refined and slender handle were matched to allow the hay to slide off the forks without constraint. It is a guarded and special tool. The second fork is a modern-day rendition that has been modified in the shop to mimic the antique masterpiece. A cutoff saw was used to take the middle tine off and a horseshoe rasp was used on the handle to make it at least fit my hands. The third fork is a new addition and it has only three tines. It doesn’t yet have the handle shape of preference, but its design is a throwback to an earlier time when, like the old antique, folks knew what it meant to have a fork that released thrown hay without a fumbled delivery.
The two other horses, the using crew, are fed together out of a loaded wheelbarrow. Neither are easy keepers, and they are fed a lot morning and night and grained in the evening rendition. One of them doesn’t like to be touched, but his unique affection comes from being allowed to softly reach out and touch me with his muzzle on his terms. That is our trade and it is only between him and me. He is the Ramon Villanueva horse and that alone suggests what he is and what he can be counted on doing.
The final horse is the most recent addition and our relationship is still being shaped. He came to us much lighter than he is now, but he has bloomed, and his black color now shows undertones of golden gruella standing in the sun. He is a big, tall fellow that isn’t in any form a kid horse. He’s a big mover and is proving to be the preferred outside horse. He is conceding, too, he likes his belly scratched as we stand together for a few precious moments communicating in our new relationship.
Then it is time to go to the house for a cup of coffee to get the day started before it is time to saddle and load the day’s companion in the trailer for the trip to the ranch and planned work.
The Metrics
The economic news yesterday was certainly positive.
The stock market hit a historical high. The unemployment rate fell to another record low. The monthly jobs creation hit 266,000 iterations. All in all, it should have been a positive day, but, of course, it wasn’t.
The unrestrained hate overruled anything and everything.
What many of us have been observing for too long is being formed into words. The unmitigated hate of the liberal operators for this president and our vote has become the core of anything and everything being accomplished in Washington.
Shame is the real byline. Disgust is the mood. Reciprocal hate is the response.
We are in a dark place, and … it isn’t the condition of feeding horses before daylight.
Six, or … One?
My uncle sent it to me.
It was supposedly Steve Jobs words about the summation of life at his dying. It is worth the read. It is his assessment of the six best doctors of this world and how they play into what seemingly was a progressive secular and fabulously wealthy existence.
In short, sunlight, rest, exercise, diet, self-confidence, and friends were Jobs’ suggested best doctors for living a fulfilling life. Not surprisingly, billions (as in billions of dollars), wasn’t one of the virtual doctors of his assessment. Millions (as in millions of dollars) wasn’t mentioned, either. In fact, not a single dollar was included in his requiem to an apparently parched and seemingly regretful existence.
Isn’t there something missing in this, though?
The words are good. There would be oohs and ahhs if his words were read in a memorial service as those gathered mourned his passing. No doubt that was the case at Stanford’s Memorial Church when guests, many of which were reported to be wearing black, arrived at the campus’ main gate for the service back in 2011.
On the surface, though, the six best doctors seemed to be elevated and stand apart from any overt higher relationship unless they were equated into that spiritual proxy.
As a Christian, that is overwhelmingly troubling to me.
It is akin to the simplicity of equating my modern-day hay fork renditions to the real thing, that thing of beauty created from the hands of somebody who had lived in a direct relationship with something that truly worked, forged by doing, and perfected by experience and outcome.
It seems to me that all six could and should have been replaced by one … He of greatest importance.

Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “The Speaker of the House needs to reread Phil. 4:8. In fact, we all do.”

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