We branded our new cattle this weekend with the family’s brand.
It was a momentous occasion for my husband and I, owning a portion of this small herd of bred cattle fulfilled a dream for us.
My instinct and general nature made me want to be in the middle of it all, but I have a baby to feed.
So we rolled up to the action, met up with gramma and took some notes.
I gotta keep track of these ladies. Need to know who’s who and what’s what.
And it was a great afternoon really. Watching the boys in the family work together, sitting and chatting in the pickup with my mom holding my baby.
Bossing my little sister around.
It was everything we dreamed it would be really.
Funny how some dreams look like mud and slush and smell like burnt hair and feel like achy muscles and long days and work and work and work…
Coming Home: The most fulfilling dreams require work and worry
by Jessie Veeder
Let’s talk about dreams. Not the kind you find yourself lost in while you sleep, but the kind that you aspire to achieve. The kind that may have ignited in you when you were just a kid watching the world play out before you and discovering that perhaps there was a place for you in it. A place where you might exceed expectations by developing an idea or exercising a talent or just putting yourself in the right place so that you might live a life completely true to yourself.
Other dreams are personal and close to the chest, like becoming a mother or honing a talent so that you might be recognized as being the best someday — the best football player, the best photographer, the best-selling author.
I’d guess most of us have a mix of those lofty dreams and the ones that feel more attainable, so that if that football scholarship doesn’t come through, you have other things to live for.
I think that’s what separates us from the animals, the ability to be more than a living, breathing, eating, sleeping and reproducing human. The ability to maneuver our fate a bit.
When my husband was a kid, he used to dream about being a mountain man. He wanted to ride out into the woods somewhere and live off of the land, trapping and hunting and fishing and growing a long, impressive beard far away from civilization and anyone wielding a razor telling him what to do.
I imagine in another time, when mountain men were more of a thing, he would have made a good one, considering his appetite for wild game, his frugal instincts and his overall scrappiness.
I had similar aspirations, only mine looked a little more like a Disney movie, where I would train a wild wolf pup to be my companion and we would spend our days frolicking in waterfalls and making wreaths out of wildflowers.
Anyway, perhaps that’s why we worked out in the long run, my husband and I. If we can’t agree on paint colors or carpet swatches, at least we can agree that that paint color and carpet swatch should go in a house out on the ranch. And I’ve learned that sometimes, deciding where you want to be together is a good solid foundation for a marriage, literally and figuratively.
Because living out here, raising a family where I grew up, is one of those close-to-the-chest dreams.
Last weekend my husband pulled up to the barn with a trailer full of cattle, the start of our own little herd we’ve been dreaming about since we unloaded our hand-me-down furniture in this familiar place.
I couldn’t help but smile as I watched him walk through the small herd with my dad, counting and making plans for calving, corrals, fencing and water.
And it occurred to me then that a dream was coming true, in the shape of thousands of pounds of flesh and bone and a whole pile of work and commitment, sacrifice and responsibility that we both could not wait to tackle.
That’s the thing about dreams that they don’t tell you when they tell you that you can be anything. They don’t tell you that most dreams worth anything look more like work and worry and muscle put in than anything shiny that comes as a result.
And they don’t tell you that perhaps the work is the best part anyway.
That the part where you become something is much sweeter than the part where you get something.
I’m not sure if I’ve always known this. Maybe I have. But somewhere among the thankless task of new motherhood and the moment those cattle set hoof on our place, I was reminded that some dreams are less glamorous than they are fulfilling.
And maybe that’s the point of all that dreaming anyway.