Farm Life is Lived in the Present
By Kim Roe
So come the storms of winter and then
The birds in spring again
I have no fear of time
For who knows how my love grows?
And who knows where the time goes? – Sandy Denny
The song “Who Knows Where the Time Goes” by Sandy Denny sometimes feels like the theme song of my life. My late husband Theo and I used to have a conversation (usually around dinner time) that went something like this:
Me: “I don’t know where the time goes.”
Theo (jokingly): “How many times did you play with the dogs today?”
I love schedules. I begin every day with every hour mapped out, and I always intend to keep to it. Instead, I’m easily distracted by all that goes on around this place.
Like horses, I tend to live in the moment, reacting to what’s happening right now—the flat tire on the tractor, the knocked down fence board, the neighbor who drops by, the blue heron sitting on a fence post contemplating life, the chickadees in the bushes, the old mare that doesn’t seem quite right, the student who’s having a life-crisis, and yes…playing with the dogs. The list is endless. I know that being self-employed and living on a farm is a luxury; my time is mine, and I can waste it if I want to!
I’m learning to add more cushion in my schedule and plan better for the unexpected; Theo would be proud of me. I also try not to be too hard on myself if every day isn’t super-productive. The richness of life is found in the small moments on the farm, not in grand achievements.
As the years flow by I’m more appreciative of the time I “waste” playing with dogs, laughing with a student, or watching birds. These are the best moments—when I let time go, or as Sandy Denny puts it, when I have no fear of time. I measure my productivity more by how many times I was struck by wonder, not by how many horses I got worked or how many acres mowed.
I hope you enjoy our Barn and Farm issue this month. Relish those small, delightful moments with your horses, friends, and all the other pleasures that can be found on the farm.
Kim Roe grew up riding on the family ranch and competed in Western rail classes, trail horse, reining, working cow, and hunter/jumper. She trained her first horse for money at 12 years old, starting a pony for a neighbor.
Kim has been a professional dressage instructor in Washington state for over 30 years, training hundreds of horses and students through the levels. In recent years Kim has become involved in Working Equitation and is a small ‘r’ Working Equitation judge with WE United.
Kim is the editor of the Northwest Horse Source Magazine, and also a writer, photographer, and poet. She owns and manages Blue Gate Farm in Deming, Washington where she continues to be passionate about helping horses and riders in many disciplines.