Kitty corner from our driveway is a lovely home with enough acreage to pasture two horses, Butterscotch and Nutmeg. Recently the owners had a landscaping team put trees in along the fence line.
In an effort to prevent the horses from rubbing against the baby trunks—giving the trees a chance to establish—a temporary rope fence was put in place to keep this small space horse-free for a while.
Butterscotch and Nutmeg have the majority of the acreage to graze in, yet they stand at the temporary fence and gaze yearningly at the small patch of grass they can’t have.
Have you ever had a case of the grass is greener on the other side?
Almost always! No matter how satisfied I am with something….my living room paint color, for instance…I will be swayed the minute the next decorating magazine comes out to think my color is inferior. This is something I work on constantly…to just feel satisfied.
Cindy — I had to smile at your example of paint colors. Oy Vay! 🙂
I think we all feel that sometimes. I wonder if it’s envy or curiosity though?
Merril — Ohhhhh, that’s a great distinction! 🙂
Yes, almost always. In my case it’s more an imaginary grass than the real grass, though. Thanks, Laurie
Olga — A writer, I can well imagine your creative imagination at work and at play 🙂
That picture breaks my heart! Poor horses. For sure, I think we can all identify with what they’re feeling, and minority groups can for sure identify with noticing when a place bars them from entry.
Arlene — Trust me when I say the horses are the the LARGE parcel (acres!) of land. They’re pining away for the itty-bitty slice of turf that’s been temporarily fenced off.
Your observation about minority groups is spot on!
I love the smell of fresh cut grass so , yes- always searching for greener. Reminding myself that the grass is the grass and to gracefully graze in my own pasture keeps “horse apples” at bay.
Cynthia — I got a belly laugh from your “horse apples” comment! 🙂
Oh Laurie your post made me laugh because I am sure if I was a horse I would be standing right best these two looking longingly over the fence. It is my nomadic nature that sometime leads me to forget how large and wonderful the place Is where I already am. I just can’t seem to help it. Every so often I just have to go through some Airbnb listings for an area or dig through the MLS housing listings. The fact that we already have an amazing strawbale timberframe home in one of the most desired places in Canada never sees to stop me from looking…. longingly, at someplace else. 😉
By the way, love your header image Laurie and so excited about all the success you are having with book. Congratulations!
Terrill — Your geographic location and home is one of the gems in Canada’s crown (but I like to look at Airbnb, too — just for fun).
I’m glad you like the header image. There was a professional photographer (Cynthia Conte) at the Note to Self book launch. I’m extraordinarily grateful that she shared some of her captures with me 🙂
She did a great job! Always nice to have.
I feel like there’s a fence between me and the newly-elected leaders of my country right now. And I’m aware, like Arlene above, that people with darker skin, a different religion, and different citizen status are surely feeling it more.
Shirley — I’m standing right next to you holding hands.
Building on what Shirley said, I fear the other side of the fence will become more and more attractive once the new administration is actually in office and making changes. I fear the changes may require a move to the other side of that fence. I fear we “little guys” will be driven from our country because of medical costs, and more.
Beyond that, I am always drooling at the other side of the fence, wanting something new, something different. I am, finally, learning how to temper that desire.
Carol — I think you’re in good company. For many, learning how to “temper that desire” is a long, if not life-long, process.
Like you, I resonated with Shirley’s comment, too.
Every time I meet a newly accepted author and they start talking about their editor, their publisher, their book, I… Well, I forget how exciting my life is right now–the world stretches before me, everything is possible.
Leanne — Your world, and everything stretching out before you, is extreeeeeeemly exciting! 🙂
We usually find that the ‘greener grass” isn’t as green as we thought – once we try it. And it’s not just the grass. Is one willing to trade everything in one’s life for another’s–including all THEIR baggage?
Linda — Spot on, siSTAR! 🙂
My dad took the family to a drive in theater. It was summer, and I was all dressed up in my Dr. Denims (you know, those PJ’s with the little feet built in). The movie was over my head, I was like, four, so I slipped out the back window of my Dad’s Olds 88. They didn’t think it was possible for me to escape since the window could only be rolled half-way down.
I never meant to cause any one worry or harm. It’s just that, from my perspective, I was thinking, “What the heck is going on out there? I want to see! Come on guys; open the door!” So, I just escaped. And, you know, what’s really funny is, this was not the first time. Oh no! I thought I had made it perfectly clear through previous escapades, “I do not take kindly to confined spaces.”
Well, my adventure through a labyrinth of parked cars, inevitably led me to a world of wonder. It was well lit by a sign (which at the time, I was sure was a signal from God), of course, I couldn’t read, remember, I was only four. But I was drawn by the light. The lights, the treats, fountains of popcorn flowing from an endless source, and ice cream carried to me by an angel named, Jill. I was in heaven.
Well, it wasn’t long before the announcement came over that little speaker that hung precariously on the car window, “We have a little boy in the concession stand. His name is Dennis, and he’s wearing blue pajamas.” My parents didn’t even bother to turn and look into the back seat. They knew! When they burst into that place that I had discovered, and termed, “Paradise,” there I was, eating ice cream and hanging with all my new friends. I was having the time of my life.
Well, sixty-one years later, not much has changed. I am still that same curious child, crawling around the ledges, looking over the edge of discovery, and asking, “What’s down there?”
Dennis — What a fantastic story. I love it. Absolutely LOVE it! 🙂
Beautiful story Dennis! I enjoyed every word.
I’m looking at the grass from the other side of the fence right now:
Sometimes I wonder whether readers think I lead an idyllic sort of life. As a blogger I can write/schedule posts well in advance of their publication. Sometimes my very upbeat posts air on days when I feel upside down and headed for disaster. 🙂
What I know for sure: We see our own lives from the inside out and view others’ only from outer appearance. All of us struggle with something, so (like Linda implies) I’ll work on the challenges in front of me.
My answer to your provocative question – no, Laurie, the greener grass is probably just a mirage!
Marian — I hear/know/feel precisely and exactly what you’re saying and heartily add my “amen siSTAR” to it.
Oh, bless them! Maybe they don’t understand why they are not allowed to playnthere any more, like if they’d been naughty!
Fatima — They probably do feel like they’re being “punished” for something. The funny thing is, they’re on the multi-acre side of the temporary fence, pining away for a little slice of greenery that they simply can’t have right now 🙂
Which wise man said “We want what we haven’t got and what we have, we don’t want”. Rabindranath Tagore, I believe.
Fatima — Yes, indeed. Wouldn’t it be emotionally restful if each of us was content with what we have?
I am getting there.
With my dream of retiring to Spain, I wonder what I will miss from England when I finally go. I know for sure that you can’t get and Indian restaurant or take-away food anywhere in Europe better than in the UK…
Fatima — You crack me up! 🙂
When I was younger I did long for the clothes and jewelry the richer girls from Lake Forest wore. Fortunately, I was in a Catholic high school so my clothes envy was primarily limited to non-uniform days.
Because I was born with an adventure’s heart, I always longed to take some grand trip to a faraway place. Fortunately, I’ve embarked on a few grand adventures in not so distant places. In my 20’s, I solo backpacked in Banff, in Alberta and in my 30’s went with a cousin to Victoria, B.C., Canada. Among many other grand trips in the U.S., I went kayaking for a week with a group of women off of the South point of the Big Island of Hawaii. During that trip, we also went into a lava cave with drums to drum to Pele! And, so many, day trip right at home in natural spaces. I spent the next week solo innMaui and experienced an amazing encounter with a whale. Next week, our refuge group has an “In Search of Eagles” event very close to here in Fontana, Wisconsin. I’ve already spotted one Eagle in that area. No more need for green envy … there are so many adventures possible near or far.
Audrey — I love your perspective and experience that adventures are possible both near and far!
I would have loved being in the lava cave drumming to Pele! 🙂
With the horses, rather than any sort of pining for something they cant have, it seems far more likely that it is simply the fact that being ungrazed, the grass definitely is longer and greener, and thus requires less effort to get a full belly. Evolution will have strongly selected for neural networks than deliver full bellies with least effort – hence the attention on the grass that is longer (and evolution will not have encountered fences over deep time, they are a very recent invention).
Lots of other complicating factors in their also. Evolution probably selected quite strongly in wild horses for grazing and moving on, to reduce the risk of picking up some disease from the leavings of other herd members. We haven’t been keeping them in paddocks long enough to have entirely selected out such behaviours.
And sure, there will be a curiosity factor, and a nervousness factor, both of which will have been determined by the long term balance of risks and rewards of such behaviours over deep evolutionary time and the variety of contexts encountered over such time. And all the many other aspects of behaviour we see in complex animals like us and other mammals.
And we humans are much like that too.
Our tendencies to different types of behaviours are very much determined by context, though we bring added dimensions to the social and intellectual aspects of our contexts and behaviours.
Recursion is a marvellous thing, being part of both abstraction and creativity, at potentially infinitely extendable levels.
Any level of any infinity can be explored for infinite time, so all of us who are involved in exploration of anything at any level can be said to bring a “grass is greener” aspect to our being.
We really are “spoilt for choice” as the old saying goes.
And every new level has its own sets of risks, and requires the development (ongoingly) of effective risk mitigation strategies.
Ted — It’s so fun to look at things through your eyes! 🙂
I often need to try something on and then I usually return to liking my own better – though I love change…I like the unique of it or the “me” of it- I want to reflect myself not so much the other
Patricia — I love your turn of phrase: “The ‘me’ of it.” 🙂
Perhaps the know the deep secret about fences … They are there so we pay attention to what is on the other side 😉
Val — Ahha! You may well have disclosed the undisclosed 🙂
Join me in the mystery Laurie 💛
Made me chuckle. Butterscotch and Nutmeg sounds so human. 🙂
TimelessLady — Let me assure you that when we take carrots over on our daily walks, these two “sounds so human” horses eat like garbage disposals! 🙂
Aren’t those the most wonderful names–Butterscotch and Nutmeg?! Laurie, that is the sweetest photo…
LoisaJay — I’m so glad you enjoyed the photograph. I had fun taking it 🙂
Laurie, as our town in the High Desert is suffering a severe lack of grass at the present, my grass is greener! We have a carefully tended patch of grass in our desert backyard, it is not much larger than the standard living room and is as well tended as any animal pet. Fed, watered, groomed and petted, it is vibrantly green and lush even in Winter. All around sand and stone are the predominant landscape feature, we feel blessed to have the grass we do.
Sandi — From personal experience, I know about your gorgeous oasis in the middle of the desert. Hands down, your grass is most definitely greener! 🙂
Yes. I was so miserable at my last job I would have taken anything to get out of there. And guess what? I’m facing some of the same issues at this one. *sigh*
RumpyDog — I’m sorry that you’re in that current pickle. I hope you can change your circumstances, soon. And if those can’t change, I hope there’s a way you can shift your perspective so you find the silver lining 🙂
Oh there is. I am utilizing all the wonderful things offered to me, such as line dancing, yoga, and a great place to walk during my lunch break, to keep myself healthy both physically and mentally. And I am actively seeking employment elsewhere.
I suppose I always want what I can’t have , that’s human nature isn’t it . I’m a total dreamer and dreamers love to dream . I tend to be a little weird with music . My favourite song of all time is ‘Summer Breeze ‘ by The Is. Bros. when I acquired it on C.D I hardly listened to it . This the ‘Not Having ‘ that’s fun , you can dream …do you understand…bit odd I know . Gorgeous horses ❤️
I always want what I can’t have , it’s human nature isn’t it . I ‘ m an impossible dreamer and it’s the dreaming that makes things seem possible do you know what I mean . My favourite record of all time is ‘ Summer Breeze ‘ by Isl. Bros. I would stop anything to listen . When I acquired it I never listened to it . Gorgeous horses ❤️
Sorry you have two versions of my post today the internet was playing up …like me sometimes ❤️
Why I never chose to mow a different yard, others chose for me in a past life. I like my new yard much better though, it’s green and lush like a golf course. My old yard it full of moles and weeds that need plucked all the time 🙂 🙂 :). #karma
Gary — Good analogy. Ya gotta love it 🙂
nope. I’m content with whatever I have or don’t have.
An Uncommon Girl — Yaaaaaaaay! 🙂
I feel that the most important thing to have is inside us and thus we just need to conquer the fences we might have put there ourselves 🙂
Tiny — Amen siSTAR! 🙂
It’s human nature to wonder if the grass is greener elsewhere, but usually it’s not. Everything comes with a price. 🙂
DGKaye — Yes, indeed 🙂
I am not so sure the expression pans out all the time, even for people who also feel their struggles leaves them on the outside looking in. But it is true opportunities are plentiful in some places and they are not in others.
Sam — Wise observation my friend 🙂
You know you had me at the horses picture!! Beautiful!! This past March we purchased some new baby chicks as our flock is getting older and the laying hens are not laying like they used to. These “newbies” constantly wander off of our property onto the neighbors when free ranging. I’m not sure what makes the grass greener on that side, but they sure do seem to think it’s much better over there all day long!
Tina — We have neighbors whose guinea hens free range and they’re hysterical to listen to, like a group of little old ladies cracking up at a shared joke 🙂