This story begins in Montana, where my friend Lisa runs A Land of Grass Ranch. Lisa is known for many things: for her tenacity, for her common sense, for her sense of humor, for her newspaper column and podcasts, for her exceptionally determined sheep. She is also known for her yellow baling twine.
The yellow twine is her signature color, and her signature style. It is far more practical, versatile, flattering and precious than a Gucci scarf. It’s part of her branding: it’s a unique, identifiable, practical, multi-purpose, visual element that’s immediately understandable to her rural ranching and agricultural community. It says: “Lisa was here, and she is paying attention.”
Yellow baling twine can do ANYTHING at the ranch. It marks her territory. It temporarily fixes fences, holds a gate open, restrains recalcitrant livestock, repairs equipment, splints an injured leg, holds up pants. Any place there are two things that must be immediately secured together, Lisa’s yellow twine is there. Oh yeah, it holds hay bales together too.
Everyone needs some kind of yellow baling twine in their life. Everyone needs their go-to move that gets them out of a jam. Everyone needs some kind of signature flair that says, “I’ll solve that problem in my own way, thank you.”
For Lisa that is yellow twine, and I admire her for it. I have a coil of the yellow twine on a bookshelf in my living room. It reminds me every day of the need to make my presence known in the world; to fix what’s broken in my life; to be creative and resourceful in fixing it; and to spend the right amount of time and energy on tasks. It’s a reminder to let the world know I am here, and I am paying attention.