Monday, December 12, 2011

Unnecessary Fear

   Earlier today I was working alone in the barn, raking soft, sweet hay into enormous piles for the horses and buffalo to eat. The air was comfortably chilly, and the absence of electronics there made the quiet feel like a safe blanket. My mind had been frayed this morning from a series of sad memories and difficult exchanges, and my concentration was suffering.

   Thankfully, work abounds, and physical activity does wonders for my mental clarity and sense of peace.

   While I raked the hay and sorted out my thoughts, I was happy knowing the animals were all satisfied by their breakfasts of either sweet grain, kibble, fresh eggs, or kitchen scraps, and they milled around their respective pens quietly.  The farm was sunless and still, though low, quilted clouds hinted at weather changes.

   Then, without warning, I heard the loud, rapid drum roll of sleet crashing against the metal roof and siding. Our two barn cats were startled so badly they jumped down from their elevated eating perch and found shelter beneath my pink four wheeler. Admittedly, I was startled too. 

   In that quick moment I thought to myself, How long is this storm going to last? Am I dressed warmly enough to stay in the barn all afternoon, if I get iced in? Should I do something for the geese, who are too stubborn to seek shelter? Do we have any cars parked outside that will suffer hail damage if I don't move them? I wonder if it's icing where Jocelyn & Jessica are, and if I send them hats and gloves, would they wear them?

   So after three or four seconds of jumping to the most dramatic possibilities imaginable, I walked over to the west doors and took a peek outside. Despite the aggressive, unruly noise of ice hitting the barn, all the precipitation I could see in the middle field was finely textured wet glitter. It was dusting Daphne, our black mare, and moistening the field. but it was nowhere near the frozen storm I expected to see. My nervousness settled instantly, and I had to laugh at myself.

   The barn had served to magnify the sound of the ice, and I allowed that sound to scare me. The metal roof and siding could do nothing to magnify the ice itself, nor the danger or inconvenience the ice might pose; it was only my perception of the danger and inconvenience that affected my nerves.

   In light of my frayed state, this was a revelation. 

   The way I feel is not necessarily linked to truth. The way I see things is not necessarily based on facts. "Facts," wherever and however you collect them, can be distorted and can be misleading.

   And while women especially want to be able to trust our feelings and instincts, sometimes we get it wrong. Sometimes what's going on in our immediate surroundings can trick us into fearing the worst about what lies beyond us.

Wishing you a warm, dry place to hide in your next storm
and wisdom to correctly understand that storm.
xoxoxo

pinnable

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