We had a great time in Fort Worth after the meeting. Dinner at a fancy place in downtown. Eight of us laughing and eating and discussing concerns in a relaxed setting. The meetings of the day were long and tense making the release in laughter among friends even better.
Some of these people we only see a few times a year. Yet, we have a bond through our shared interest in Texas longhorn cattle. One of us has been raising them over half a century, one about five years. Rock and I have been at it 28 years or so.
There are a lot of memories attached to the part of our lives concerning the cows. Some of the craziest are episodes of chasing the ones who got on the wrong side of the fence. That may be why I am so sensitive concerning the condition of fences.
Fences containing livestock should be tight and strong. Fences between people’s hearts should be delicate and tender.
Certainly, each of us should maintain boundaries that protect ourselves from being consumed or abused by others. Even someone who loves one dearly can cross over to lack of consideration or taking advantage or failing to return affection and attention. Paying attention to the boundary between me and the ones I love is crucial. I find myself getting too far out in the middle of the field and then feeling alone in the vastness.
I have been blessed in recent years with a few ladies in my life that wave to me from the fence and bring me back over to reengage with their companionship. I think to most acquaintances, I appear to have it all together. I am like the duck gliding smoothly across the lake while paddling madly beneath the surface. And I know there are monsters lurking beneath the surface of the lake. Monsters of depression, anxiety, grief.
They haven’t caught up with me much lately. And when they have, I was able to escape fairly quickly. Rock can attest to the positive impact of my having allowed myself to sit on the fence rail and visit with my golden friends.
And he can attest to the fact that I am a pretty good cow catcher when called upon to do so. Not much good at cutting and penning, but I can get them called back in through the gate when they cut loose. Patience and taking my time are needed for that task.
It’s the same with cultivating friends; patience and taking our time are needed to chase all the squirrels out of our heads and into our running conversations. Got some more of that on the schedule for later this week. Having someone who will listen, not judge, ask searching questions, accept and really understand, probe further if things are not clear, challenge self-assessments, is such a treasure. A blessing from the Lord. I praise Him I have a few of those and that I have him supporting my time with them.