Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Where I'm Goin'

As a family, we went on a Valentine's excursion today. We treated ourselves to a book that will likely soon help us use more hand and fewer power tools. And a bit of chocolate and roses, trite and commercial and oh so welcomely felt in my heart.

But a day out means no fires at home and a cool house when we return. Not to mention the walk home in the remaining snow, uphill, both ways. And the chores waiting to be done when we get here. Not to mention that today for me is a hormonal day; you know, we women (even Goddesses) have them and I wouldn't not have them but like a cold house to return to, they are a fact of life that must needs be dealt with. And they won't be ignored anyway.

I was sitting by the big stove, the only one lit tonight, dreading to suit up and go milk. My head aching just a little, in the background. Dreading the cold most.

As much as I might sometimes dread it, I always love doing it. Gawd but I love the big animals. By the time I'm at the milking shed pouring the grain in her bucket, I'm not dreading anything anymore. I clip her up with eyes closed, seeing with my hands how to put the snap to the ring in her halter. I lay my head against her flank. She smells of hay tonight, has been laying in it just before I came out of the house and she heard and got up no doubt. Her milk starts slow then comes strong. As she steps over, the stool and I follow her without thinking about it at all, all but automatically. Her teats and my hands are warm now. She gets her second of grains and I finish up.

I hear in the background the horse stand up. At 2000# it is impossible for him to actually do anything quietly. His walking you can feel in your feet through the ground. But still, his groan calls to me.

I finish the milk, unclip the cow, quickly detour to check him. Donkey is laying down. Horse is standing in the hay, thoroughly satisfied, belly filled out. I listen to his gut for the comfort in it, kiss him quickly, go back up the hill. Rub the cow where her horns would be, rub her ears and the clip there with her number. She licks me like she would her calf. I've milked her so long perhaps she thinks I am her calf.

When I walk inside again, I have a gallon of milk for my family and a knowing that largely I am where I'm going.

Which is another country song, my current favorite (you have to love Dolly):

Yeah, when I get where I'm goin',
There'll be only happy tears.
I will shed the sins and struggles,
I have carried all these years.
And I'll leave my heart wide open;
I will love and have no fear.
Yeah, when I get where I'm goin',
Don't cry for me down here.


Be my Valentine, ya'll!

3 comments:

Parrothead said...

Happy Valentines Day CG! Love you all very much!!

the Contrary Goddess said...

Hope you had a happy one! I'm awful glad to hear from you since I haven't since I gave you the whatfor about your Sylvia experience. I love ya!

dragonfly183 said...

Sigh, its been sooo long since i had my hands on a large animal like that. Big dark eyes, big heavy feet, the smell of hay.