Perspective is something I learned about in art class, a long, long time ago. If you put a dot on a piece of paper and draw lines out from it, depending on the placement of the dot and the angle and direction of your lines, you can alter your perspective.

Today I had a perspective adjustment that involved neither dots nor straight lines.

While Anna was doing milking dishes and I was moving the fence to let the girls out to graze in a new area, a SUV with flashing red lights sped down our short gravel road.

There are only 2 stops beyond our barn our road. Both contain people we adore.

The SUV was a first responder. My pulse raced as I saw it turn down our neighbor’s driveway. I took the shortcut through the barn and breathlessly told Anna I was heading over to the neighbors. As I trotted down the road and then the driveway all of the potential scenarios raced through my head. What if there had been a health emergency? Or an accident? Or a break-in? Or??? The road was too long and my legs too short.

I raced through the open garage to the back door announcing myself as I drew closer. “It’s Vicky, can I help?”

Our neighbor met me at the door, perhaps more startled by my round red face than whatever was going on in her home. Quickly she assured me, “I’m okay, it’s just me cooking.” I let her briefly tell me the condensed story and get back inside. All was well.

On my stroll back to the barn, I noticed a few things I hadn’t on the way over. Some spring blooms I hadn’t seen. Some buds on trees I didn’t notice. My perspective, changed.

I was taken in that moment by my thoughts and how I processed the emerging situation. I was proud of myself initially. My first response was ‘can I help’ equally paired with ‘are you okay’ – I think that’s good.

My second thought shocked me a little. I thought ‘not THAT neighbor’- I would like to think I’m a better person, but I’m not. ‘Not THAT neighbor’ was based upon this being a neighbor I like… not the neighbor that I don’t like.

Wow. Does that mean I wouldn’t respond the same if I saw the flashing red lights heading that direction? Hmmm. I don’t know. Really, I don’t. He has been outright awful to us, but am I really willing to reserve my concern and assistance only for people I like? I don’t know. I hope not.

Maybe now, with my perspective altered, I would rush over and offer my assistance. Hopefully we will never have the occasion to know.

These are the thoughts I pondered today I walked back to my farm, took a sweeping look around and satisfied myself that my perspective of the day had been altered. Whatever challenges had leapt to greet the farm today would have to wait for another day to get under my skin. Today my neighbor was safe, and I was a better person for it.

Giant Daffodil (or not)

Giant Daffodil


About Chief Milkmaid

A former executive, now goatmilker and cheesemaker, I am the Chief Milkmaid of the Little Brown Farm.
This entry was posted in About the Farm, It's Personal and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Perspective

  1. Wrenni says:

    mmm, definitely something to think about. I think you are that better person, because in the end, your nature would have you making the same run to the neighbor you don’t like, as it had you making the run to the neighbor you do like. That is the kind of person you are. It may not always be at the forefront, but when it counts, it’s there.

    • I have always said you know me better than myself… I think/hope you are right… as you always have been. After all you have been my BFF since before that was a term! 😉

  2. I remember a neighbour I didn’t get along with finding me just off the roadside having a severe asthma attack. To my great surprise, she came to me and helped me make it to my mom’s car (I had to lean pretty heavily on her). Another neighbour had run to get my mom to take me to the hospital. I’ve always felt differently about her since that day, and I think her ‘perspective’ of me changed with that incident, too. I was really grateful that God sent two neighbours out for a walk down our barely travelled road just when I really needed their help, too! I would have died otherwise.
    And yet, I find myself thinking just as you are in this blog entry. And like you, I really hope I’d be able to swallow my day to day feelings and ‘love my neighbour’.
    I really enjoy your blog, Chief Milkmaid! Thank you!

    • Thank you for sharing that story, it makes my heart happy to read it and helps me to think I would do the ‘right’ thing if I were ever called to… the rewards seem so much greater that way. 🙂

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