Loved and lost.

When I found the above image, the detail and obvious love and respect the farmer had for his precious cows apparent. I’d guess that Eugenie and Princess are buried in the family’s plot.

Starlight, my Shetland pony, lived on a ranch in Ramona, California when I purchased her for $800.00.  Starlight is the offspring of a Class A miniature sire and a Shetland pony mare.  She is typically shaped as an American Shetland, and happens to sport flashy paint or pinto coloring.

Starlight, hoping for a handout, covered in dried mud.

At the ranch where Starlight was born, a pet cow lived (or may still live) the Life of Riley. Though I can’t recall her name, I can recall her size –  she was HUGE.  Precious cow could hardly maneuver a 10% grade to greet us, as her guardian called her name, offering her a treat.

My guardianship and love for the animals I’m committed to caring for leads me to thoughts of the nature of human beings. I’m fortunate to have Mark and my four offspring, my sister, who love me.  Then, there are others.

If you’re a part of a wonderful family, take care of, support, have consideration for and love one another – I am happy for you.  My happiness lies in the knowledge that human beings are capable of forming cohesive, respectful, loving relationships. That special, mutually beneficial bond enriches your life and in turn the lives of the family unit. Further, if you appreciate it, wisdom and kindness can transfer to the rest of humanity.  You must be consciously aware, however, or the benefit of your bond stays trapped within your own ‘walls’ and will have no meaningful effect on  ‘outside’  human beings.

This pondering leads to my ancestry and genealogy.  I’ve traced my grandfather’s roots to Spain, and my 8th great-grandfather, who came to Canada on a ship with a Regiment of men, in fine uniforms, to displace the Iroquois   in the late 1600’s.  At that time, I don’t believe the Iroquois had joined with other tribes to form  the Iroquois Confederacy.

The King’s daughter’s of France, come to meet the First Regiment of Soldiers from Spain, in Canada.

I found a historical drawing of the fort that the Spaniards built; it’s quite similar in design to the long houses the Iroquois built and I must wonder if the Indians didn’t do the Spaniards a kindness and build it for them!  This was a common occurrence between the Americans and Europeans – Native Americans were THE Americans!

In turn, I consider my life, and relating purpose and meaning. My obligation is to enrich the lives of others, with what I glean during my life, skills, experiences, talents, knowledge and wisdom.  I suggest that you, too,  have an identical obligation, particularly in regard to your benefit of family bonds and any life experiences.

While engrossed in genealogy research, I stumbled on a photograph of my grandmother’s brother.  Great Uncle Henry had lost his right leg in a farming accident in Maine.  His draft card proved his identity, as it states, “right leg off.”

Great Uncle Henry

Great Uncle Henry is part of many family trees and the further back in time, the more people share the human beings from the past on their own family trees.

As a young woman, I attended a weekend symposium on the status of women.  During the opening meet and greet, we were to name the women who had positive influence in our lives.  I left, as I knew immediately, I did not have the benefit that the other women had and further, would not be able to fully relate. I felt shame and embarrassment

I’m eager to learn of those who came before me, especially excited to learn of human beings with thoughts and skills similar to my own. A chance meeting with an ancestor!  What a glorious prize!  They existed, as do I.

My birth father denied me for nearly all of his life, never wanted me. I had two short meetings with him when I was in my 30’s. The first, in secret from most of his family, except for his wife. The second time, my oldest daughter was with me, and he never looked me in the eyes, but decided to insult my laughter, likening it to a “cackling hen.”  Never before, or since…

His obituary, a glowing tribute to a good and loved father.   How can a man be a good and loving father to some of his children, and adopt another child, and know I exist, and do nothing? Likely, I’ll never know.

So to you, who have so many, and to you, who have few or none, find meaning in your existence.  You’re obligated to share that meaning, wisdom, talent and examples of fine humanity, with other human beings, so that they, too, may make us all, more human.