Friday, December 6, 2013

So God made a South Dakota Rancher

I wrote this peice right after blizzard Atlas hit for all of our SD ranching friends. When I read it now, I like to change SD for WY because my heart is always with Wyoming. Anyway, I hope you enjoy!

And on the 8th day God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a caretaker!" So, God made a South Dakota Rancher!

God said I need somebody to get up before dawn and milk cows and ride down steep draws and gather timbered pastures and stay up far past midnight helping a new calf learn to nurse, so God made a South Dakota rancher. He said I’ll need someone to fight anti ag policy issues and be a voice for the world’s smallest, yet most influential population, so God made a South Dakota rancher. God said, I need someone who can teach a young kid to drive a stick shift in super low and pour feed out the back of the pickup at the same time, and they’d need to teach that same young kid an appreciation for songs by Merle Haggard and Buck Owens and the old gospel ones too, so God made a South Dakota rancher. He needed someone who could build fence on clay soils, deal with high wind and still appreciate life at the end of the day. He said it’ll have to be someone who can tie a silk scarf, throw on a pair of carharts and a scotch cap and think that thirty degrees below zero is bearable, so God made a South Dakota rancher. It would have to be someone who could pull lambs and lend a helping hand to the young neighbor couple just getting a start. He’d have to be someone who had a stern face and could take any bad news but who had the kindest of heart. He’d need to have calloused hands and a family passed down brand and a straw hat that had been sweated through more than once or twice. He’d have to twist wires and build fires when he was watchin’ cows or sheep a long way from home. He’d have to look at his home in the middle of no-where and smile, because the middle of no-where to everyone else is the center of his world. And he would know how to break colts, butcher chickens and scoop manure right along with his help, so God made a South Dakota rancher.

He’d be a man of few words but a whole head of knowledge he’d share if you visited long enough. Someone ever at the mercy of the crazy man-made markets. He’d be the one to help build the schools and hew the logs for the Churches. He’d have to take wild land and tame it into peaceful range. He’d have to be someone who could take politician’s, often times, empty promises, and be respected by bankers and be the man the middlemen live off of. He’d know the beauty in flaky green hay and heavy sagebrush cover and the protein content of dried out native grasses. He’d have to keep the county fair running and sort livestock through the salebarn that he ran just to keep a paycheck in his neighbor’s pockets. He’d have to deal with high input and low output and know how to live off of just one paycheck per year. And he’d be a gambler. He’d have to bet his strength and know-how on the heat of the sun and the turn of the rain cloud. God especially needed someone who could weather any storm. And whether the weather had taken everything or left a few behind, He would need someone who could look at the mess and with their lip bit and a lump in his throat say “There is some kind of plan in all of this, and we’ll be better for it.” So God made a South Dakota rancher.

It would have to be somebody who would seed, and weed and breed and heed to God’s plans no matter how crazy they seemed at first. He’d have to be a risk taker, married to a pie maker, and operate a hay raker all summer long, so God made a South Dakota rancher. Somebody who'd bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who'd laugh and then sigh...and then respond with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life "doing what dad does". So, God made a South Dakota rancher!



- Trinity Lewis

No comments:

Post a Comment