The Cowboy - A Timeless Lifestyle
The words “cowboy” and “timeless” go hand in hand.
Though they are spelt different, they were created within the same.
Definitions intertwined, meanings connected, hearts tangled into one.
I don’t know if there is anything else that you can compare this lifestyle to.
It’s one of a kind and can stand all on its own.
It could never be duplicated nor can it be bought.
It’s original and unique.
It’s authentic and it’s real.
It’s a life of sacrifice by choice. A way of doing things that goes against what our modern culture teaches. Togetherness. Family. Hard work ethic. Self sustainable. A life of responsibility that engrains itself into the spirit and brands the soul. The cowboy lifestyle shapes character, crushes pride, restores focus, and ignites hope.
Perhaps to some, it may seem a bit out dated. It could even be considered a bit behind with the times. But to cowboys - they see the future. A filtered view of what’s important and life giving. What actually sustains. What carries our families, communities, and our nation through hardships. It’s an awakening, a legacy, a vision. A hope that lingers in the hearts of a hard working spirit, one that rises with the sun and doesn’t find rest til long after it sets. If they honestly ever find rest at all.
You can see it in the eyes of the children, from a young age as they peer over the gates to watch their fathers in the branding pen. Their dirt laced hands so graciously wrap around the pipe fence, eagerly awaiting for the age to come that they can be freely within the midst of it all. The older children are right in the middle of the action, helping pass out shots and carrying branding irons to and from the fire. They even help catch and drag calves once they reach a certain age. The babies are on the hips of their mothers, with glistening eyes absorbing every moment that they are able to take in. From a young age they are witnessing responsibility and being taught firsthand how to take care of what is entrusted to them, to steward well what is given, and to lead a life of character. They will witness all the pain of the set backs and learn how to persevere to the triumphs.
Age does not necessarily define your talent when you are in this lifestyle. To see a grandfather and a grandson sort a set of calves with great grandson crawling around outside of the pens is truly remarkable. Watching three different generations work cattle together in unison is such a beautiful sight because this lifestyle is one that will last throughout an entire life. There is no such thing as a deadline or, if we are being honest here, a retirement. Something will always need to be fed or tended to and if that’s all taken care of, then somewhere water needs to be turned off because it’s almost always left on.
If you are born into a cowboy lifestyle, you won’t be able to outgrow it nor could you outrun the calling that it has on your life.
It’s the smell of coffee that lingers on the breath throughout the day.
The worn hands that have roped and tied down too many to count, yet will still give when the giving has been well overdone.
It’s the saddling of the horse before the sun begins to rise and the fumbling through the dark to make sure your stock is tended to long after it sets.
It’s riding off into an open pasture with the feeling that nothing is closer than the front row view of God’s creation- His presence brushing ever so gently across your cheek.
The definition of the word timeless is not affected by passage of time or changes in fashion. I would consider this lifestyle, the hard work that these cowboys and their families put in, rising before the sun and ending the day long after it sets, timeless.
This lifestyle, these families, are and will forever be timeless.
And I am grateful to have a front row view into this life.
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