“There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.”
-Henry David Thoreau-
Rainy days on the horse farm were standard issue; the lower mainland of B.C. is well-known for it. It is a mild sort of climate and in the winter snow and freezing temperatures seldom hang around for more than a week or two. But the rains, oh my, the rains how they delight in bathing the land day after day, week after week, and sometimes month after month. To an indoor worker that makes for a difficult commute, messy shoes and a cumbersome umbrella. For an outdoor worker the best way to cope is to embrace it, wallow in it, and become one with the rain. The whiners and complainers only make the rain a misery by their own attitude. My boss used to begrudge the loss of good weather with good-natured grumbling and funny remarks on the type of rain of the day….”possibility of rain, heavy at times”…while we slogged ankle-deep through puddles as we turned out horses. I never could wrap my head around the indoor type people who complained bitterly about the rain when they spent so little time out in the stuff. There were wonderful gray days when there was no discernible difference between the sky and the ground. There were days when the only state to be in was wet, not cold, just wet. In fact, if I felt cold it just meant to me that I was not moving fast enough. Work faster stay warm, still wet but warm. My favourite saying during the rainy days was “it’s a good thing I’m a duck” which of course made no sense to anyone but me. I delighted in the outdoors and all that went with it rain or shine. The horses had to be brought in early during those pouring wet days…a wet horse is a cold horse. It made for dirtier stalls to clean but a shorter day. Once the stalls were clean we brought the horses right back in and then there only the paddocks to clean before going home for the day. On those fairly rare snowy days, still there were whiners and complainers about slippery roads and the cold, even anxiety about the horses. Again I loved the weather, the outdoors and the challenge. If the snow was too deep I had to drive a good 10 miles out of my way to find a less steep, ploughed and sanded hill to get down to the valley where the farm was located. I didn’t mind. If the snow was not too bad I’d go down the steep hill any way…in neutral…zero brakes…white knuckles and holding my breath all the way. It was exhilarating. And the horses, high-stepping all the way, snorting in the crisp morning air, nostrils flaring; their excitement was contagious and again exhilarating. The water taps would freeze up; we’d run hoses from within the barn to the closer water troughs. Occasionally the inside automatic waters in the stalls would freeze as well and we’d have to hang buckets of water. It made for extra effort but it was an interesting break from the routine and after all it was only for a week, maybe two. It was a joy to be outdoors, working at something I loved to do. The weather was just that…the weather…”possibility of rain, heavy at times”. Life is what it is…I take it as it comes and enjoy what it is. That’s not really a strategy it is living in the moment.