This is the main avenue in and out of our ranch.
Today, it is impassible. Mud, muck, stagnant water, frigid piles of snow, and treacherous ice go as far as my eyes can see.
One of the first driving lessons on any farm or ranch, is how to drive in reverse. We back up to load outs, we back trailers. Sometimes we have seen a cow in distress, and needed to take a closer look. Occasionally, we get flagged down by a neighbor in need of help.
I can’t count the number of times I have had to throw it in reverse. So when I attempted to start out for work today, I wasn’t really surprised that I had to reverse course and back the half mile or so, in order to find a different route.
Some people view going in reverse the same as they would retreating. As if by going backwards, we somehow fail or admit fear or defeat. But I like to see reverse as an opportunity to re-group, to more carefully evaluate a situation, or to perhaps find a better way, often requiring much more skill than going forwards. We all know that saying ” I am sorry” is a lot harder than the opposite.
It seems to me that most of us Americans would like to reverse the course of events in our country that brought us to our knees, once again, yesterday. We all have different ideas about what actions should be reversed, regrouped, and re-tried. But, we have all generally agreed that something different needs to be done.
I sat at this giant mud hole this morning, weighing carefully the decision to plow through it, versus the lost time and challenge of reversing out of it. I know now that if I had pushed ahead, and ignored the danger, I would have found myself stranded and alone.
No one wants to be stranded and alone. No one. So, I put it in reverse and carefully drove my way out of my predicament. I did it because I had good teaching. I did it because I was trained. I did it because my free will and common sense worked together.
I think if we all throw it in reverse today, and walk back to one another, we can find a way to re group and go forward again with a plan that will work for the good of all mankind.
If only we find the courage and strength to throw it in reverse.