Yesterday I helped a neighbor move his cattle from a leased pasture to the home range. It was an all-day job, even though it wasn't supposed to be. Seems like everything takes longer than it's supposed to, especially where critters are concerned.
We have a lot of sky here, but we don't have many trees. When you do see 'em you are probably looking at an old homestead or a defunct ranch headquarters. On my way home after a day in the corrals I saw this scene, against a nicely-developing sunset. It's an old homestead. Nothing still standing there, but remnants of an old barn and some old foundations. Even the trees are dying now. Cottonwoods are not what you'd call long-lived vegetables.
Whenever I see a place like this I think of the lives that were lived out there; the hopes that blossomed, and sometimes died; the children who learned about life there and then, probably, went somewhere else to try out what they had learned.
The Lakota and Cheyenne who lived here before we came onto the land had a saying: "Only earth and sky last forever." Change is relentless and pitiless, as we have learned from our recent election. But change isn't always good or admirable or to be desired. I'm not a Luddite, or even a fogey (I don't think!), but when I pass an old homestead I can almost hear the joyous cries of children as they share rides on the pony, or chase or are chased happily by the family dog. If you listen closely you can almost hear Mom calling them in to supper, or see the lights come on in the windows as the sun goes to sleep for the day and the cold wind rises out of the northwest.