By Charlene Smith
Pine Bluffs Post staff 

What's beyond your fence?


Charlene Smith

As I was driving to work, I noticed a bull standing close to his fence gazing longingly over to the other pasture.

Now, if you were raised with even a smudge of country on your jeans or "genes," you know he wasn't admiring the greener grass on the other side of the fence.

He was looking at the cows.

I would take the bet that this bull has not gone "without" his whole life. He most certainly knows how to work a corn field, if you know what I mean. Otherwise he would have been a steer or under cellophane at the market long ago.

So, if he knows how "green" the grass is, tasted it, why the longing stares? Why not be content with what was, and enjoy the beautiful sunrise behind him? Instead, he wastes a nice morning on looking over his fence.

I have kept track of that bull for the past few weeks. One morning this week he seemed to be almost crying over his fence, telling those grazing cows to come a little closer.

Aren't humans just like that bull? We had something great, will probably have it again, but instead of enjoying the beauty in the sunrise now, we remain fixated on that one thing that we think is the only thing.

I entered my son in a contest to win Super Bowl tickets. It was based on how inspiring you were and what football meant to you.

Football means the world to my son, and he has inspired more people in his 10 years than most do in 50. Thought it was pretty good odds.

He didn't even make the top 10.

I chose to tell him as the family gathered together before parting ways for the Thanksgiving holiday. I figured he would be thankful there were more pathetic sad stories out there than his. Always think positive.

As tears welled up in his eyes at our table in our very public small town cafe, he asked me "What did we do wrong?"

I didn't know what to tell him. What did we do wrong? I have never been a Negative Nancy and we don't throw many pity parties in our family, but I wondered, too, why not us?

For all intents and purposes, our family has more fence line between us and the things we want than Ted Turner's ranch in Montana. We've had more than the fair share of "No's," "This isn't working out," "Thank you for your interest but we are going a different way." It's not that I expect any miracles, but I don't want to turn so sinister against the ebb and flow of life that I don't still wish for a gate left open sometimes.

I heard once you should live like someone left the gate open.

Just this morning, the old bull was grazing on corn stalks, bulking up for the cold front.

But whatever happens, I hope he keeps looking over that fence. Maybe he will find some corn to throw across the highway. Maybe his owner will see fit for a winter solstice rendezvous. No matter how great the sunrise is behind him, I kind of hope he keeps gazing over the fence.

Because if all these losses in life have taught me anything, it's that no one should be able to tell you what to wish for and what not to ever look forward to again.

Keep it up, bull! Or should it be keep up the bull!


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