The Hills are Calling and I must Go

"The hills are calling and I must go..." a slight variation of the more popular quote, "The mountains are calling..." but it rings even more true for me personally. These aren't just any hills or mountains but the hills I grew up in.

These hills hold my most treasured childhood memories. These hills are where the stories of my grandpa's childhood come to life. The hills his father traveled before there were paved roads and fences and established houses. Before there were trees and green hills. Stories of old hills of sand for as far as the eye could see. A true "wild West" with indians and cowboys- the brave sort that risked everything for a promise of a future a life where land was 25 cents for a section (640 acres).

When you go West time seems to stand still. It's almost like traveling back in time where streets, buildings, roads and the countryside remain the same. Cattle scattered across the hills mixed with a few homes here and there. Population of the human type is sparse. It's here cattle far outnumber people but if you'd ask the locals they wouldn't have it any other way.

"Traffic" is getting stuck behind a tractor while you pass the upcoming hill and your neighbor may be down the road a few miles or 20 across the hills.

DSCF9275
DSCF9281
DSCF9308
DSCF9312

This particular trip home I got to go back to Arthur County and visit the ranches that have stayed in the family for 100 or more years. The landscape may have changed some and people have come and gone but the lifestyle and the miracle of life one gets to witness and take part in every Spring remains the same.

jensen_ranch_new_life_ranching-1
jensen_ranch_new_life_ranching-3
jensen_ranch_new_life_ranching-4

We got word there was a cow that needed help- her baby was coming backwards and needed to be pulled. So off we went. Believe it or not... I've pulled my share of babies and helped in the process but this time I grabbed my camera and tagged along. Documenting it to share a piece of my heritage and a baby being born- with you. :)

jensen_ranch_new_life_ranching-5
jensen_ranch_new_life_ranching-6

Mama quickly went to work licking her baby and encouraging him to get a movin'. They said we hadn't even gotten the pickup through the gate and this baby was already standing! 

In the cycle of life on a ranch most babies live but you also witness death. Fortunately this time the baby survived BUT in that and seeing how innate the steps animals take it's truly special to witness. Something so easily taken for granted when it's all you know but I discovered in going back and seeing it again through my "older eyes" it's something that's almost sacred and that I now won't be taking for granted.

"But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind."

Job 12:7-10

DSCF9306