In a Pas­ture Some­where

Country - - FRESH AIR - KATIE McCLESKEY Roar­ing Springs, Texas

Daddy doesn’t of­ten raise his voice. His words aren’t ever harsh, but he sure can be stern—and he saves that for when lit­tle cow­boys are in dan­ger. Mostly, if Daddy has some­thing im­por­tant to say, a les­son that needs to be learned, you’ll go haul hay with him. Haul­ing hay isn’t hard, and there’s quite a bit of road time if you’re tak­ing it to a far-off pas­ture. You can’t go very fast, and the ra­dio in the old ranch rig quit work­ing years ago. It’s a pretty good time to talk. Of­ten, he’ll ask ques­tions and of­fer up ad­vice. He’ll re­mind you about the words writ- ten in red, and how they’ll al­ways guide you, even when Daddy’s not around. If it’s re­ally im­por­tant, he might suggest, “Y’all sit out­side,” and he’ll let you fid­dle with a rock or a piece of hay while he does his best to ex­plain some­thing. His words aren’t par­tic­u­larly elo­quent. There’s no beat­ing around the bush, but there is of­ten an anal­ogy per­tain­ing to live­stock. He’ll re­mind you that our Heav­enly Fa­ther wants to sit and talk with us, too, and that it’s im­por­tant to make time to lis­ten to what He has to say. And, af­ter Daddy feels you un­der­stand, the sub­ject will change, and be­fore you know it you’ll be con­tem­plat­ing the state of the grass and whether it would be a good idea to put a swingset in the back­yard. Daddy doesn’t put on a big show of teach­ing life’s lessons. They get han­dled like ev­ery­thing else: with a lit­tle time and a lit­tle care, and most of­ten in a pas­ture some­where.

Katie’s hus­band, Dil­lon, and their son, Cylis, take a break from har­vest­ing hay and talk.

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