Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Long Road Home

Well friends, I wish I had had the time to write of all the 
happenings going on around here lately.

I rehearse how I will write down the stories I want to tell you as I am holding bottles and fetching cows and driving to get another lunch that I though I would have time to make. 

The great news though is that the cows have adjusted extremely well to their new barn, it's just us farmers who are still getting the hang of things.

The last few weeks have been a flurry of ups and downs as we adjust to new routines and the weight of caring for our animals in a new way.
I go to sleep with numbers still running through my head. 

If I haven't been able to share any other story with you from the last few weeks, I want to tell you this one:

I had been trying hard not to dwell on the fact that I was in a line of work where "Labor Day" did not mean a 3 day weekend with cookouts and sleeping in. Never the less, as I stepped high through the lush grass that is a rarity this time of year I hummed a little song.

 My mind was wandering, trying to gain some clarity after the whirlwind of the new barn start up. 

I smiled to myself as I remembered the moments of happiness.

Yes I took three pictures like this, or maybe 19.
I was teaching Bunny to cheer for the Hokies!
Evenings on the porch
Girls day!!

Ahh, so good to be back in Lane Stadium

Of course we got in a few predicaments as well.
You know it's dirty when it requires the water hose first
"It seemed like a good idea"

Umm, oops...

We have had a chance to catch up on a little sleep.

Pull some weeds from the garden.

And chop some haylage.

And if we run out of things to do, somebody is always hungry!

Just as I was wishing Starbucks wasn't 30 minutes away, I arrived at my destination, the dry cow field. We had come to bring some cows back to the main dairy because they were due to have calves in the next few weeks. They have been on "vacation" so to speak. 

As we arrived at the gate my heart sunk to see 1822 standing at the gate. 
Her big white fuzzy head looked right in my direction and I had to look her square in the eyes. 
It was in this moment that I remembered all at once the moments I didn't want to remember from the last few weeks.

The storms.

The days I hung my head.

Being scared of the thunder that comes in the night.

The fog of uncertainty.

Saying goodbye.

As we sorted the cows we needed, I felt the sting of knowing I could never pet my dear 1823 again. 
The one named "Bugsy", twin sister to "Junie", 1822.

The one I had told about the grand new barn on the hill, 
where her and her sis could spend their days together. 
The one I had raised from moment one.
 The one who had died peacefully on the hillside just a few days ago. 

The photo above was taken the last time I saw her, I had a gnawing feeling it would be.  
She had been struggling with an illness and we had let her out to pasture to be more comfortable.

The rainbow I think was not a coincidence.

Just as a tear was about to spill out of my eyes for the piece of the past I had to let go, I was stunned to look up at what was before my eyes.

It had been a long road, but we were headed home.

 “Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know. 
Perhaps it is everywhere - on water and land.” 
- Walt Whitman

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