I turned 49 ten days ago, and it is weird. I really don’t feel much different on the inside as when I was younger. Obviously, I know more know then at say, 10 years old, and I have a greater ability to reason and make better decisions but I am still the same “me” I have always been. I don’t “feel” old, growing up I thought 50 was old, and as I quickly approach this milestone I don’t have that same opinion. I have been thinking quite a bit about how much I have changed and then again, just how much I am still the same.
I don’t have the best memory but I know I have always loved animals. I can still remember getting to bring home the class rabbit from my kindergarten for the summer, it made a lasting impression on me; animals were a responsibility and a thing to be cared for. I have carried this lesson with me as I cared for baby birds fallen from a nest or bottle-fed abandoned kittens. Somehow I think I was innately designed for farm life, and it is a very sweet thing to be able to finally step into this endeavor after so many years dreaming about it.
Even though my birthdays in the past weren’t always the best memories for me, they are now the best excuse to add new animals to the farm. Last year my daughter gave me farm dog and this year, Mr. Carson the holland lop rabbit. We were on our way to get birthday facials and pedicures, (you know after a summer on the farm this is as much necessary as it is extravagant) and we stopped into the local tractor store for some duck food. This was also a necessity since my husband had gifted me with three new Call Ducks the day before and of course we are never quite prepared for new arrivals.
I had been rabbit sitting the week before for my daughter and was explaining to her how much I was missing having Mr. Pancakes, (who is seriously the cutest mini lop) at our house, when lo and behold in the middle of the store were two young people selling their rabbits.
I bet you already guessed that one of those rabbits went home with me huh? It was perfect, my daughter had just said how she couldn’t find the right gift, and voila! Thankfully we had enough time to take him to her house and put him in an empty hutch and still make it to our appointment on time. His name is Mr. Carson, inspired by his tuxedo look and my love for Downton Abbey. Maybe someday he will get his own Mrs. Hughes, I can’t say for sure but I am pretty confidant he will.
So as much as things change as I get older, they also stay the same. I still experience the excitement of adding a new pet, maybe even more so than when I was younger. It is still a blissful thing for me to find an egg in the nesting box or to feel the soft little nose of a baby goat as it nibbles the grain from my hand. Aging is a funny thing, you can let it take hold of you and use it to disqualify you from many of the best things in life or it can set you free to embrace its experiences with a new understanding and exuberance. I don’t believe that youth is wasted on the young, I think perhaps maturity may corrupt the mature person from seeing life as they should: through a child-like perspective.