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.