Life Lessons

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Children are innocence.
I don’t mean that they are innocent, because often they can be quite naughty at least from our perspective. But they possess innocence. They are carefree, joyful, effervescent, exuberant, adventurous, loving (the unconditional kind) and just full of life. They are blessed with so many qualities that they don’t even realize and if we fail to look close enough, we will miss them too. The “work week” is pretty challenging for me. It makes for long days and I have limited time to spend with my husband and daughter. Once the day at the office ends, I have to come home and work too. Pick up the house, make dinner, clean up from dinner and bath time… this leaves only a few minutes for me to really connect and enjoy quality time with my family and before you know it, it’s bed time for the little one. Everything is rush rush rush, get this done and that done and “no hunnie, there’s no time for that now.” Every time I say that my heart breaks a little. As time passes, I become more in tune to it whipping past us; time that we will never get back. I feel an urgency to slow the heck down and live life in the moment instead of hurrying it away, to slow down and really be present and observant in this girl’s life. If I think about it, there are many life lessons to be learned from her and children in general.

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That’s why I love trips to the farm (my parents’ land) and trips to the hunting camp (family-owned land on my husband’s side). They are places to un-plug, get away from the town and relax a little. Sloooooooow down and live some. I had an opportunity to sneak away to the farm last weekend and it was much needed therapy. I really watched her and let her. Let her do whatever she wanted (so long as it was safe). Let her explore and be a kid.

(Note: If anyone is freaking out about this photo, you can stop. This is my middle-aged mare whom I’ve had since she was two, wouldn’t “hurt a fly” and yes I know anything can happen but I felt perfectly comfortable with my mom standing close by. Just had to say that before anyone got their panties in a bunch). 

Love. Fierce love. Unconditional, unfailing and pure. Children have a love for all things big and small- from the dandelion she picked out just for me, to all the creatures of the earth, to the people in her life. Even when she is scolded she comes right back with more love. Even when let down she still loves. I learned what unconditional love felt like when she was put into my arms but if I could love others with an ounce of how she does I would be a better person.

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Appreciation for the little details, like the dapples on my mare that she pointed out…

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… and the veins that run along her flank. She takes notes on everything and always asks “why?” Oh, that question! “Why? But why? Why?” Yes, it can sometimes get annoying but I do my very best to answer each “why” with a correct and honest answer. Why you may ask? (haha) Because if she is curious enough to ask then I am seizing that chance to tell her. She is learning every single second of the day and one day she won’t want to listen to a word I have to say.

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Photo of Octane not pertinent to the story, just a pretty girl 🙂

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In between all her running around I did get her to sit with me for a minute (or second) to watch for the hummingbirds as they made frequent appearances. She often heard them before we saw them and once she spotted one she would get so excited and jump up and down, which made them retreat to the nearby tree.

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My sister and little nephew came by to visit too!

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During our little outside adventure, we spotted the neighbor’s horse peering through a broken slat in their fence… He was a friendly fella (or lady) and has a super cute stripe and snip! He wanted in on all the fun I guess 🙂

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Then clouds rolled in and it rained. Not for long, but long enough to run around butt-naked and squeal with excitement (not me, my kid)!

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She wanted to go “run and run around” in the rain and so she did. I watched her jump into every puddle down the drive, lift her face to the sky and smile as the raindrops hit her face. Me? I don’t like to get wet much so I stayed under the patio but I had just as much fun. She would reach down and splash the water (I’m half surprised she didn’t lay down and roll in it). For a child to be so excited over something so simple as rain… oh to be that carefree. At the risk of sounding cliché, it’s the little things in life that matter most.

The rain withdrew and we did too, back inside for a nap. Once awake from dreamland, we started on dinner but halfway in, a big storm came through and knocked the power out! Luckily the bacon was done and we ate our dinner by emergency candle light.

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I stepped out onto the porch to check the hanging plants and saw that these silly horses were out in it! The wind was whipping and it was pelting rain pretty good but they didn’t seem to care.

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Back inside, the kids enjoyed some cartoons (until the battery died) and we ate delicious BLT’s.

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As quick as it came it receded and the house brightened up (power still off).

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And it wasn’t long before she was ready to head back outside! This is one thing I love about her. She always wants to be outside and although loves her cuddles and movie time, if she had her way she would be outside all the time, digging in the dirt, collecting rocks, and getting dirty. She has a great sense of adventure.

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This was the sky after the storm cleared. We ended up with some beautiful sunlight on this evening, and off we went for our nature walk down the right-a-way (the old railroad bed on the property). This place is magical to me. Everything about it is beautiful and looks like something out of a fairy tale. There are plenty of things to discover and it’s perfect for a child’s imagination.

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Spotted a bug on one of the wild phlox.

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She loves the water and even more she loves throwing rocks into the water and watches the splash she created. But, she couldn’t get past all of the snails on the rocks this time.

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On the walk back we had to take a moment to appreciate the beautiful sunset…

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The rays were bursting out from behind the clouds and Rhilyn named off all of the colors she could see.

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For children, happiness comes easy. It’s natural for them, and just about anything can make them happy. But for adults it has to be intentional; it has to be a choice. I can learn a lot by watching her – how to be happy in any circumstance, how to love, how to give, how to be unstoppable. It certainly isn’t easy but I am certain it can be done.

If you’ve stuck with me this far, thank you. I’ve had to step away from this post many times and come back so I apologize if my thoughts are a little scrambled or disorganized. 🙂
Caryn

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3 thoughts on “Life Lessons

  1. Caryn – I just love reading your blog posts. Beautiful pictures and your message really spoke to me! Thank you for sharing, I love you& that incredible little niece of mine so much! ❤

  2. I love everything about this ! Your pictures are so vivid and beautiful and the stories just warm my heart. She’s a beautiful little girl and I’m glad you aren’t missing all the special moments . I can tell she is teaching you what’s really important in life too. You make me proud to call you my Niece . I look forward to the coming years watching her grow . Keep the post coming and God Bless you all.

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