Sometimes it Rains. Sometimes Donkeys Roll in the Mud. And Sometimes, You Just Gotta Look Up.

Finally there’s a storm pushing through. The rain is falling in violent sheets as the trees flail chaotically in the directionless wind. A dark noon here at the ranch and I couldn’t be more grateful that the weather outside is finally matching the pandemonium that has been the last several weeks in my life. Sunshine has only more brightly exposed my recent, sour mood and made me a bit bitter.

Everything is okay, but for weeks, King Ranch and I have had one unexpected event occur after another, most of which have come with a very high price tag: scary medical procedures with burdensome bills, car troubles that they don’t make helpful DIY YouTube videos for, and travel for family events with unprecedented traffic jams and uncontrollable barfing out of the passenger side door, to name a few. Trickle in with that, the suffocating and raging behemoth that is the US 2016 election that is making everybody completely crazy and the lingering summertime heat and humidity that is bizarre even for native Texans and….well….it’s just been kind of crappy.

Behind the dancing trees, the midday sky is slate gray, swirling and seemingly uncertain about which direction the storm will travel next or how severe it may become. Still, the sky stands strong. The sky doesn’t need sunshine or rainbows to do its job or to feel validated or able. The sky’s the sky…rain, shine, tidalwave, whatever.

Later, I’ll need to brush caked-up mud from the donkey’s coats because that’s what they love most about storms: rolling in muddy puddles as soon as it’s passed. I’m especially looking forward to giving Simon and Beans (my last two remaining foster donkeys) a thorough brush (and taking the time to memorize the patterns of their coats and the depth of their eyes) because it would seem that they have finally found their forever home. Over the weekend, a couple from a town about 45 minutes away came to the ranch to meet Simon and Beans to see if they’d be a good fit for their family and from first encounter, it was clear that in fact, it would be a perfect match. The couple were tickled pink by the donkeys and both Simon and Beans were curious, affectionate, and eager to get close to them. Although there are details to finalize, it would seem I will be saying goodbye to those two very soon. It’ll be that bittersweet symphony whereby I’m thrilled to see them placed in a loving home, but will be heartbroken to say goodbye. 

Outside, the wind has slowed and the rain is falling straight down in large splats. Perhaps the storm will be ending soon. That stealthy, slate sky…from her, I should be taking some lessons in patience, presence and perseverance. Sometimes storms are precisely what we need to sprout more fully. And certainly, this storm will leave us all cleansed and ready for anew.

For now, I’ll go stick my basil plant and my newly sprouting pumpkin plant out in the yard to take advantage of this natural hydration. And maybe I’ll take a nap with the window cracked.

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