every life lesson can be learned

Category: Metaphors

The Early Bird gets the Adventure

I sometimes wonder when I’ll have done enough on our franch to call myself a farmer or a rancher.  I don’t know that I’ll ever be truly deserving of that title.  For one, farmers are famous for being early risers.  If I need to wake up at 4:30 a.m. on a daily basis to be a farmer, I guess I’ll have to settle for always being a wannabe.  I like to sleep in the mornings until the sun is well up in the sky.  There is though hope for our children to someday claim the title since they like to get their simple morning franch chores done early.  They set their alarms to go off well before me.  One early morning, I was abruptly shaken away.  Our then seven-year old son, out of breath, smelling of fresh morning air, had a story to tell.  Excitedly, he said, “Sometimes the early bird doesn’t just get the worm, he gets the adventure too!”  It happens often that, as I sip my morning coffee, I smile as I listen to the re-telling of my children’s early morning adventures on the franch.  I learn as many lessons from my children as they learn from me.  Wake up early.  Adventures are waiting to be lived.  Don’t sleep through them.

Am I a Boiled Frog?

I didn’t grow up on a farm or a ranch.   I don’t have any education related to farming or ranching or agriculture.  My degree is in molecular biology and public health.  So often people are surprised with how much I do and am willing to do on our franch.  My husband once referred to me as “a boiled frog in a pot – I slowly turned up the heat on her.”  Most of you know the anecdote that tells of the frog that can only be boiled alive if you  gradually turn up the heat.  If the water was too hot at the start, the frog would jump out immediately.  By the way, contemporary scientists concur that this isn’t the behavior of real frogs, but never mind – it’s a metaphor.   Most of the time the  story is used to warn people of eventual undesirable consequences if they don’t make themselves aware that they’re headed in that direction.  Being compared to a boiled frog was offensive, until I realized it’s truth for me.  I’m thankful we did this one step at a time – I needed to know I could do all of what we do one step at a time.  I couldn’t go from not doing any of this to all of what we do on our franch overnight.  I would have run all the way home to the suburbs.  The American poet Robert Frost cautioned that “all metaphors break down somewhere.”  In the story, the frog doesn’t do so well – it gets boiled.  Where the metaphor breaks down for me is that at the end of all the gradual heating isn’t death…instead it’s where I found a life worth living.  Turn up the heat, I can take more!

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