As soon as we get there, I open the door and she jumps out and takes off as I follow her in my jeep. She runs through the pastures, stopping occasionally to play in a creek or swim in the pond. She explores the woods and chases animals she smells that are long gone. She gets so excited she can barely stand it, but is child-like in the way she never gets too far ahead, always looking back to make sure I’m with her and waiting for me when the need arises. If we do get separated, one honk of the horn sends her swiftly back to me. And I get to feel like a bit of a bad-ass crossing creek beds and driving places I would only feel comfortable in a 4WD. She has gotten so attached to this time, on days I can’t take her she sits by the doors and cries and pouts. She loves “Bella Time” as much as I do!
Along with being great exercise for Bella and some much needed quiet time for me, I’ve used this time to do what I always do…look for a lesson to take away, an experience to experience, or an “aha” moment to teach me something new. Here are some things that have stuck with me.
Everyone should spend some time in nature. My husband is a hunter, but he seldom shoots at anything. One day I asked him why (which is, by the way, fine with me!) He explained he loves to be in nature. He loves the quiet, watching the animals, and the peace that comes along with being disconnected from the world. It’s where he does his best thinking and feeling. I get it now. I get very limited phone service on this land so it’s mostly me and nature. It’s quiet, it’s beautiful, it’s peaceful and I have seen some amazing things. We used to spend a lot of times outdoors in our younger days and I forgot how serene it can be. I would be remiss though in not mentioning that my idea of being in nature involves me sitting in my jeep with the air conditioning on because there are too many bugs outside and I’m scared of snakes! But I’m still enjoying nature…just on my own terms!
Mamas are mamas no matter the species. I wrote in a previous blog post, Lessons from the Creek, about Bella’s run-in with a mama deer. She has had quite a few run-ins with mama cows and it’s exactly the same reaction. They will protect their babies with a passion that is like no other, just like we protect ours. I discussed in the other blog post about our ability to turn from intelligent, soft-spoken women to a scarier version of the Incredible Hulk if we think our children are threatened. I have also found that “mother instinct” to come into play with my dog! Bella was in the woods and I heard a noise that alarmed me. There are coyotes in the area and I got worried. I know the likelihood of a coyote messing with her in the middle of the day is probably very slim, but I didn’t even think. I jumped out of the jeep and was ready to take on the coyotes when Bella came trotting out of the woods. Now, I admit I don’t know what I REALLY would have done if a coyote came trotting out after her, especially since I don’t even know what a coyote looks like, but for that moment, my adrenaline kicked in and I was ready to take some coyotes down! I’m sure there are some people now spitting out their drink as they laugh at that last sentence, but it’s true!! I also almost jumped in the pond to save her from (my perceived) drowning one time, but I’ll save that for another post.
A couple of more random lessons I’ve learned. You would be extremely grossed out if you saw how many flies are on one cow. I’m surprised they don’t all die from disease! Also, cows poop…A LOT! So much that I looked it up. They can poop up to 150 lbs a day. Disgusting, huh! And the last random lesson I learned is no matter how hard I try to prevent it, a dog will always step in that cow poop the moment before they jump into your car! It never fails.
Of everything I experience on these adventures though, the best thing is watching how happy it makes Bella…what could be more satisfying than that? My daughter says I love Bella more than my kids. Well, she IS always happy to see me, always sad to see me go, never talks back, never tires of my kisses (even in public), doesn’t know how to roll her eyes, and the only thing she wants from me is my attention and time…let’s just call it a tie!