One of the ways to deal with having a husband who is deployed is to work hard, really hard, that passes the time productively, and makes you tired enough at bedtime that you don't think too long... just fall into the deep sleep that comes when you are completely spent. I have done just that for the past five years here at the ranch, and it has been deeply satisfying. I wrote the following blog back in 2010, and I thought I would post it again as I prepare to leave for a while this place I love so dearly. I have so much of myself invested here, and I wish to share again some of my thoughts when my husband's absence to war began so long ago.
In the interest of seeking that state of peaceful productivity, I rented a large back-hoe, and for a week I have spent 14 hours a day shaping the land and creating spaces that control our tendency to flood during the occasional four hour rain that produces 8 inches of rain running through the ranch.
I love a 20 ton backhoe, I want one for my very own really badly. For a girl who can't open a jar of pickles without assistance... the ability to lift all kinds of dirt in a single scoop is power indeed. I can lift bales of hay, move the stock tank, deepen the creek which runs across the pasture, and fill the new raised rose bed with rich soil in a single scoop. There is such peace in being up as the sun comes up, listening to the birds, (the blue birds are back from where ever they go during the winter,) and watching the flowers begin to wave in the breeze. The new little goslings and baby ducks are anxious to get out of their little coup and explore their world, and the baby turkeys and baby pheasants run after their larger cousins peeping loudly as they try to keep up. They all attempt to follow me as go to the back hoe to begin my work because they have never known a mother having arrived from the hatchery orphans, and assuming since I feed and care for them that despite my unsightly appearance, I must be their mother. I must shoo them back, and they protest.
Then, under my hand, the large machine rumbles to life, progress begins, and my mind is rested and centered on productive and good things, and the worries of war and white phosphorus, suicide bombers, and the sufferings of humanity for the time are shooed, like the flock of birds, from my consciousness.