A Place Behind the Hills

There is a place behind the hills,

behind the deep-dark forests and rocky roads,

Photo Credit: maureenness.com

where the trees are bright and the flowers purple.

There, storms are a pleasant breeze,

and the lakes are so clear you can see all the happy fish.

There, the sun rises at 5:30 every morning

and goes to set when you’re ready.

There, there are no downsides,

except for the cows’ bellies that swing as they walk.

But, to get there, you’ll need to run.

You’ll need to hike and climb and swim,

Photo Credit: jeremybatesbooks.com

but most importantly, you’ll need to run.

There are tall monsters and mean witches

waiting for you to stop and catch your breath,

waiting to hold you by your legs and arms

and never let you go.

So don’t catch your breath, not now.

Now is not the time, but the time will come.

Now, you must run past the monsters and witches,

Photo Credit: 4.bp.blogspot.com

through the forests and along the rocky roads,

past the dark shadows that are hunting beside you.

But then, believe me,

there is a place behind the hills,

where the trees are bright and the flowers purple.

Where the only shadows will be of the lazy cows in the sunset.


my thoughts on time.

I prefer not to measure time in minutes.

Maybe that’s because it scares me,
time does.

But, it’s comforting to think
that the same wet grass I
walked across today
will soon turn brittle and dry.

“The Persistence of Memory” via allthatsinteresting.com

It’s comforting to think
that, with the help of the rain,
the fields will fill up with wheat,
which will later be cut down
and turned into hundreds of bales of hay,
all lining the bottom of the hillsides
in a grid of little golden rectangles.

Then, in time, they will be shipped off
to somewhere far away from here
and the cows will return to eating
the new grass, gently swishing
their tails as they chew.

It’s comforting to think that
the world will continue to spin
and the sun will set tomorrow
and the next day,
just as it is meant to.

And I hope,
that in time,
I will see, and do, and live
just as I am meant to.

Cattle-ranching Trip

Not very many people can claim that they’ve been on a real cow roundup, but I can!

Last Sunday, a group of three seniors, including myself, OVS art teacher Ms. Smith, and lower’s Australian riding instructor, Andy, loaded two horses and made the six hour trip up to Independence, California to stay at the Smith Ranch.

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Without knowing what a cattle roundup is to the fullest extent, I imagined massive herds of cattle running in each and every direction as the riders each struggle to keep them in a group and headed towards the pens.

Without knowing what ‘putting cattle through a shoot’ is, I imagined the branding to be a horrid sight, and the castration to be something that my weak stomach wouldn’t be able to handle, and the tagging to be intolerable.

I was completely wrong in every sense.

The first day of herding cattle was as easy as one could possibly imagine. The cattle didn’t even bother to defy the natural order of things and simply moved as soon as a horse came near them.

I was also lucky enough to ride one of the most incredible horses that I’ve ever encountered. Elizabeth and I were given to rented horses from a pack station down the road whose names we weren’t told. I was given a lovely strawberry roan quarter horse who was not only calm and collected but willing to go whenever asked to grab a stray calf. We named him Barry for his color and the large “B” branded on his left flank. We were also given an older gentleman of a horse who never ceased to have his tongue hanging out of his mouth and his head regally held above all of the others. Not to mention he was easily over twenty and was covered in random patches of abnormally long hair. He was named Thor, which was followed by more jokes that I could ever keep track of.

Throughout the whole time our faces were stuffed with the most amazing food, and minus the brief stomach flu that we all experienced, it was definitely one of the best weeks of my life. If any riders are considering going next year, they definitely should. It’s absolutely wonderful!