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Don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up. –Robert Frost

Farms and fences, they go together like women and chocolate. Both items are necessary to maintain control and peace on our little patch of ground. Our fence-row is narrow, bounded by trees. I have spent countless hours in this narrow space along life’s journey; mowing, trimming trees, mending fence and on and on the list goes. I also spend a fair amount of time just walking along this fence-row, as I find it is a peaceful and pleasant place to stroll along and chew over whatever life has offered of late.

To me, this fence-row embodies the nature of how life is a journey in many ways. Here are just a few:

1. Straightness is key.

Nobody wants a crooked fence. Beautiful fences are perfectly straight. When first installing our fence we used high tech tools like laser levels so our fence would be the epitome of straightness. This turned out to be a lot of fuss and we soon discovered a good ole’ fashioned string worked just as well.

There are a lot of distractions in life. These meanderings from the desired path cause us to lose focus on our goals and get our priorities out of order. The sooner we find our passion in life and commit to following the straight and narrow the better off we will be on our journey. Crooked lives, like crooked fences leave behind the regret of not taking the time and making the effort to maintain straightness.

2. Sometimes things get in the way.

Our farm was hit two consecutive years by tornadoes. No, we are not Irish, nor do we have their luck. Needless to say, our tranquil fence-row was abruptly converted into a disaster zone by nature. Following, there were days of picking, cutting and dragging to clear the rubbish and downed trees.

While you may not be so lucky as to be the victim of two tornado strikes, eventually everyone has storms along life’s journey. These storms too shall pass but many times they leave behind quite a mess to clean up. With persistence and hard work your fence-row can be cleared and you can go back to strolling peacefully through life, at least until the next storm hits.

3. Meeting in the middle can be a great thing.

It seems like every job involving the fence requires at least one more tool than I brought with me from the barn. It’s a long walk back to the barn. What a relief it is when my husband is home and I can whoop and holler from the distance whatever it is I need, and he meets me half way with it in hand.

Never think that you have to go all the way in helping someone in order to make a difference. Often times even the smallest effort on your part can be a big encouragement.

4. Take a friend.

I enjoy strolling the fence-row alone but when my husband is by my side his presence adds an extra dose of gratification. Even better is taking along, my husband, each of us with a dog and a horse.

Having a companion by your side in life’s journey is priceless.

5. Keep going forward.

I often drive my tractor down my fence-row bush hogging. The space is narrow and the tractor is long making it difficult if not impossible to turn around once I start. I know this, because the crooked and broken fence posts tell me so.

Go prepared and never turn back. Going backwards is always a struggle. Forward is the key to finishing the race.

Life’s journey  is indeed much like a fence-row. Work, struggle, build relationships, and enjoy peace along a straight and focused path, never looking back, but always striving for the end.

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