7 Life Lessons from a Hay Wagon

Sometimes class is held in unlikely classrooms.

  1. Stay balanced. A little bend in the knee is a big help in not teetering around the hay wagon like a rum-soaked sailor. Don’t want to be a rummy sailor bumbling around your life? Balance work life, family life, friend life, you life, fun life…you get the picture. Unless you’re too sloshed. If that’s the case, sober up, and read this again.

  3. Sometimes you fall down. Even when striving for balance, you’re gonna fall. You might fall plumb square on your hiney. If you’re having a really bad day, you could slip straight off the edge of the wagon into a giant cowpie.

    Mistakes happen in life. You’re gonna fall. You’re gonna fail. You’re gonna do something stupid. It happens to us all. Get back on the wagon, and keep on a truckin’. Also, life has a cowpie pert near ’round every corner. Keep your mouth closed.

  5. Let your friends help you. Don’t try to drive the wagon and pitch hay at the same time. It can be done with a trusty team of horses, but it’s a lot easier to let your friends help you. Life isn’t meant to be lived alone. Independence is a good quality, but it can command a pretty high price. Friends are there to help you along when you need it the most. Let them.

  7. Watch where you’re going. It’s easier to stay balanced if you look up once in awhile to see what’s coming. It’s also easier to pitch hay off the downhill side. Life goes a little bit smoother when you’re paying attention. You’re not going to miss all the potholes, but you won’t bounce as high if you see ’em coming instead of watching ’em in your rearview mirror.

  9. It’s okay to hang on. Some of the rocks down in these canyons will toss you clear off the wagon if you’re not hanging on. Even if you’re watching where you’re going. Life’s rocks can pitch you right out of the saddle. Sometimes it’ll get the job done anyway, but you might avoid a few bruises if you let go of your pride and grab ahold of something.

  11. Use the pitchfork. The pitchfork is an underrated tool of the trade. It’s not as manly as, say, a hammer. Or a chainsaw. Or a bulldozer. But when it comes to relocating a bunch of hay, a pitchfork is hard to beat. There are a lot of tools in life. Be sure you’re using them when you need them, even if it’s not the most sexy one in the box.

  13. It’s darn hard work. Pitching hay off a wagon to hundreds of hungry cows is hard work. Even if you’ve managed to stay balanced, watched where you were going and let your friends help. There are no short cuts in moving hay from the wagon to the ground except to physically move the hay to the ground.

    Life is hard work. What with the balancing and looking where you’re going. Remembering it’s okay to hang on and letting friends help instead of trying to be Super Person all the time. You can try the short cuts if you want. I’ll be standing here by the pile of hard work when you find your way out of that maze.

That’s plenty for me to chew on. Class dismissed. Next meeting at the corrals.


  1. Wow Erica,

    This to me is just a tremendous post. Something from everyday life, connected to a philosophical and lesson of life. Then to top if off you write it absolutely perfectly in my opinion. This is the kind of writing that I wish I could achieve.

  2. That was amazingly written. I hope you don’t mind that I pass this one along with full credit under your name. If this isn’t the perfect way to explain life to someone, I don’t know what is!


  3. Love this! I will be sharing it.

  4. Very insightful post Erica! A great reminder for all of us to work towards.

    Balance is one of my personal goals. It’s hard to fail and make mistakes, but they are also some of life’s greatest lessons. I agree that it is ok to ask for help and hang on! Sometimes that is what the stronger person does. It’s just hard to ask when one has the “strong silent cowboy” mentality.

    Life is hard work, but with the right tools and great people around us it can be a wonderful ride!

    • Thank you, Robyn. You are so right – failing and making mistakes is a hard way to learn lessons but we sure pay attention in class that day. Appreciate your thoughtful comment!

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