Manure and Freedom


How does manure and freedom go together? Well, let me explain. I grew up in a small town, on a 15 acre piece of land. We had horses, cows, chickens, goats, dogs, cats, fish and birds. Life was great back then. Those were the good ole’ days.

Days when my siblings and I could run around freely, without worrying about being picked up by strangers. Afternoons spent exploring the haunted house down the road. I suppose that would actually be called breaking and entering, but the place was too creepy not to explore.

Weekends when we would run back and forth between our friends’ houses, which were all a good distance from ours. We had freedom to roam, without fear. People were good back then, at least in our little town.

Most days, I would hang out with our farm animals. There was nothing more fun than being with them. Grooming the horses, cleaning their stalls and picking up all the piles of manure they left behind. Feeding the chickens, and petting the cows. That was the good life.

Being with those animals became a large part of who I was. I was a country girl in every way. Although we eventually moved away from that town and into a big city, that country girl has always remained a part of me.

What does all of this have to do with manure?

When we first moved to the big city, it was very overwhelming. Everything was foreign; the music, the people, the traffic, the overcrowded schools. I was lost. For a long time nothing felt like home, other than the fact that my family was with me.

Then one day, I was home again. My parents took us all to a livestock show that had come into town. When we arrived, I opened the car door and climbed out. What I was met with was the strong, but oddly inviting smell of manure. It reminded me of home! It still does, all these years later.

What I quickly realized at that moment, was that the smell of manure also reminded me of freedom. The freedom during our childhood, where we ran and played and had no fears. The times when we rode our bikes down the long dirt road, ran from snakes in the forest, rode 4 wheelers, and our mother would whistle for us to come home.

There was nothing to be afraid of back then. We were free. Free to be kids.

Those were the good ole’ days. Manure and freedom.

“Typing my heart out” for Nano Poblano/NaBloPoMo.

Using the Daily Post prompt, Salad Days. Is there a period in your own personal life that you think of as the good old days? Tell us a story about those innocent and/or exciting times (or lack thereof).


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32 Responses to Manure and Freedom

  1. My experience is just the opposite – I was born and raised in NYC, and then, when I was in my early 30’s, I moved to rural Arkansas. Speaking of contrasts! I know what you mean (from the other direction). To me, it isn’t a smell that triggers the “I am home” when I visit NYC (I now live in a small city in upstate New York) but, rather, the sound of the elevated subway trains.


    • mewhoami says:

      Wow! That is a big difference. How opposites we are. The smell of manure probably repels you, just as the the sound of subway trains do me. It’s interesting how where we grow up impacts each person’s life so differently.


  2. jafarley says:

    I too have a similar feeling but mine is more being out in the woods exploring, being around nature. But for some reason I still can’t get the feelings of freedom back I had as a in some way I think part of it is not that the world has changed, but I have, if that makes sense.


    • mewhoami says:

      Oh yes, nature too. There is nothing quite like being in the midst of nature, tucked away in its solitude and quiet. That makes perfect sense. I think as we grow older, we also develop inhibitions which keep us from feeling that we can have freedom. It’s still there though. We just have to let go of those inhibitions in order to get it. Now, how to do that. That’s the question.


      • jafarley says:

        Yeah, I completely agree that the world has changed. But in a way I don’t go to my place of freedom looking for new experiences, but to remember the old. It’s like looking for the innocence that you had as a child that made things so much better. When you’re a kid you have a limited view of the world and everything seems to make sense. In the simplest tasks like checking out the abandoned house down the street you used your imagination, and it seemed so exciting. So is it the threat of danger that keeps us from doing those things now or the limitations we have as adults? I don’t know, but I think it does everyone a bit of good to search within themselves and find the child they used to be.


        • mewhoami says:

          For me, I would say that it’s the limitations that hold me back. Now, whether those are limitations of the law or self-imposed really depends on the situation. But I’d say most of mine are self-imposed. I agree with you about finding the child within us. Whoever said that just because we’re grown, means that we have to grow up? We should feel free to explore our inner child every now and then too.


  3. sheenmeem says:

    Those were the days when children could play outside without the fear of any harm befalling them, and doors remained unlocked.


  4. 50djohnson says:

    I love this!!! I was raised in town… and got to the country as soon as my life and finances would allow! We only have five acres but it is our little slice of heaven. No manure but lots of sky!!


  5. markbialczak says:

    Manure and freedom. And then shit happens in the city. Dang mewhoami.


  6. DebraB says:

    I also grew up in the country, and all of us kids wandered freely all around. I don’t remember anybody worrying that bad stuff would happen to us. It’s hard to imagine growing up now in a city, with all the fears and restrictions kids have to deal with.


    • mewhoami says:

      I wish that every child would be given the chance to grow up without all those fears. It’s sad that kids have to be so sheltered these days to keep them safe from the people out there. I grew up in a city for the second half of my childhood and even with that I experienced much more than a kid should. So, I can only imagine what it’s like today.


  7. Pingback: Life Is Beautiful | Rahul Creatrix's Blog

  8. This makes complete sense to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kind of makes me wish my childhood was filled with manure. 🙂


  9. sounds so idylic the setting and lifestyle i really miss that i was brought up in a village so know the running around thing i wish i had that for my kids x


  10. April says:

    Your title sure intrigued me. It’s the best feeling being transported to a happy/free time in life.


  11. lbeth1950 says:

    You made me feel good. I grew up on a farm too.


  12. When I was a teenager we had 5-7 horses at a time. when I got in trouble my punishment was scooping out the acre barn and paddock. I do not have fond memories of manure! LOL


    • mewhoami says:

      It’s so great that you got to have horses too. They are so much fun, but when the clean up is punishment that kind of changes things. I can understand why you feel the way you do.


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