Every Snail Is a Blessing, Every Coyote Call a Wonder

Getting here to Idaho and beginning to tame this land was one of the hardest transitions we’ve ever gone through. Mind you, we’ve been through a lot of transitions, both as individuals and as a couple. We’ve lived all over North America between the two of us, and we each have enough career “lives” behind us to put a nine-lived cat to shame. And let’s not even get into family, friends, and relationships. Let’s just say, we’ve got this transition thing down. We get the power of it in fact, and typically we bear down and “cowboy up” as they might say here in cattle country.

But this time felt different.

I’ve never had so many things go wrong, day after day, and even at times, hour upon hour. Everything that could have gone wrong from the moment we decided to purchase land in Idaho until well after we arrived here went wrong. And I mean everything, from a land deal that fell through, to blown tires, to an excavator who cheated us, to torrential rains that threatened to ruin our half-built utility building, to unexpected bills, to broken vehicles, to paychecks not getting sent, to even our beloved best little fur friend in the world unexpectedly passing away.

We made it. We’re here. But oh man, it was uphill for months.

There were times when we had no choice but to physically act to keep moving forward, but I won’t lie, I was crying the whole time during those moments. And sometimes I got really mad. And more than one morning we both woke up thinking, “Please, let it be easier today.”

And it never was. It just never was. And though we never quit and we spent each day searching for a new way forward, endlessly brainstorming on the strategy to take next, looking back I’m not sure how we did it.

Except I do know how we did it — we had faith that it had to end. Everything couldn’t keep going wrong. I told Winslow at one point, “It has to get better. Everything we own has already broken.”

What kept us going was knowing that no matter what, we had each other each step of the way. And we had (and have) a shared vision of our little paradise on this remote mountain ridge. We didn’t want to visit nature anymore. We wanted to be in it, be part of it, be surrounded by it.

And so now that we’re here, and still alive, and not hungry, and not wet or cold, I am grateful. Every day when we walk and we stop to watch the chickadees or follow the deer tracks or spot fresh elk sign, I am grateful. I am surrounded by life and beauty, and my husband and I connect it all with love. Every snail is a blessing. Every coyote call a wonder.

I am here to see these things. The sunrise and the sunset. The rain and the frost. The mud and stinkbugs. My neighbor’s horses and the falcons in the sky. I am here because they are here. And in the end every hardship was worth these moments of beauty, and somehow we knew it would be that way and held to that all along.

So take a little walk with me through these photos to notice some little things, and then perhaps take a walk through your life, and let’s all notice the beauty and say thank you together. Because when all the big things go “wrong,” it’s the little things that matter. It’s the little things that make up your actual life.

A daisy we spotted on our first visit to the property.

A daisy we spotted on our first visit to the property.

We have the best neighbors. I like when they visit.

We have the best neighbors. I like when they visit.

These are all over our yard after the rain.

These are all over our yard after the rain.

And sometimes we find their trails in the mud, too.

And sometimes we find their trails in the mud, too.

We have some mighty big friends who come to visit, as well.

We have some mighty big friends who come to visit, as well.

They like to dance in the mud.

The moose like to dance in the mud.

And gift us...with scat.

And then the deer gift us…with scat.

And sometimes the elk do, too!

And sometimes the elk do, too!

  • Jeanette Lotz Roberts

    Excellent read, Becca. I had no idea how hard this has been for you guys and you have my utmost respect. Following your dreams in this big of a way is remarkable. Best wishes to you both on this journey.

    • Thank you so much. It’s definitely been an adventure and we are both looking forward to winter when we can hibernate a bit, sleep a lot, and be rejuvenated for spring. Many more good things are to come, and no doubt more hard parts, but the ratio is feeling a bit more fathomable these days!