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With Purpose to Save and Savor


Photo courtesy of Breanna Owens, Cobblestone Ranch, CA

By Breanna Owens, Cobblestone Ranch, CA

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor the world.  This makes it hard to plan the day.”  -E. B. White

There are those idyllic days and moments when both these desires don’t just seem possible, but are possible. And then there are the rest of the days and moments when it certainly is hard to plan my day. How to prioritize my time and my energy?  Where do I focus the limited resources? Do I mother and support my son, do I ranch and support the land, do I collaborate and help others support the land, do I be a friend and support my community? I want to mimic Krista Tippett and say “both/and” to it all.

Although we can’t actually do all that is put before us as stewards of community, family, animals and land, I do believe we can do all of it on a scale that is meaningful. We can both save and savor in the living that we do.

Not often enough, I think of the words that a very wonderful and wise man shared with me on occasions when things weren’t going as planned. He would ask, “Is anyone going to remember this in 100 years?” Such a simple question, and being that he was pretty dang close to 100 years old himself, he could literally answer it from his own memories. 

On both the idyllic days and the difficult-to-plan days, and all the days in between, I think of the wonderful and wise people I have met through the concentric and widening Circles of Women in Ranching.  I am beyond grateful for getting to know each beautiful individual of Circle 1 and the chances to meet some of the women from other Circles. There have been opportunities in my life that have changed it in big ways. Being a part of Women in Ranching, being part of Circle 1, is one of those.

I hold parts of them in my head and my heart that influence me daily. 

I think of Dede’s bravery, Ariel’s intelligence, Jaime’s balance, Stacy’s generosity, Mel’s tenderness, and I have energy.

I feel Doniga’s love, Aimee’s grit, Wendy’s guidance, Caroline’s poise, Michelle’s caressing words, and I have strength.

I hear Kristina’s energy, Julie’s wisdom, LJ’s passion, Amy’s tranquility, and Karminder’s invitation, and I have hope.

I experience Elaine’s adventurous nurturing, Lisa’s sassiness, Avery’s serene presence, Sallie’s respect, Lissy’s illumination of living, and I have assuredness.

I witness Lesli’s trailblazing, Erin’s genuineness, Trudi’s wholehearted living, and I have purpose.

About the author

Bre Owens operates Cobblestone Ranch, a small cattle and sheep operation in northern California, where she focuses on utilizing livestock to enhance landscape functionality. She is passionate about collaborative endeavors focused on working landscapes, conservation and community through which she can learn and support others. She works with the California State University—Chico Center for Regenerative Ag, Working Circle Proactive Stewardship, Quivira Coalition’s New Agrarian Program, and the California Rangeland Conservation Coalition.

About Women in Ranching

Learn more about Women in Ranching here. If you are: not yet part of a Circle but want to be; own or manage a ranch, and able to host 20+ women for 3 days; or interested in becoming a corporate sponsor or learning more about different ways of supporting Women in Ranching, contact Amber Smith:

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