The holidays are upon us, the snow is finally rolling in, and the fireplace is giving off that mysterious glow. Ahhhh winter, the farmer’s brief window of dry socks and un-hurried coffee sipping. Even though we are continuing to crank right on through the winter with farm chores and new business plans, I did want to take a moment to sit down and share some of those quiet moments that make up the heart of farming for me. So, here you have it, a few of my favorite things:
Hearing the different intonations in a cow’s moo, especially the short, distant sound they make to a newborn calf.
Walking out to the barn at any time of day in any situation for any reason. Simply moving in that direction makes my heart happy.
The soft spot behind a cat’s ears.
The way a baby chick closes its eyes when you rub the top of its head, and how if you repeat this action slowly and calmly, you can make them fall asleep in your hand.
Stepping into a cold barn to find a pile of tightly woven piglets, snoring through yet another magnificent mountain sunrise.
The softness of the spot on a horse’s muzzle just where the nostril flares.
Warming my hand inside the little pocket where Deluxe’s udder attaches near the inside of her rear flank.
Rubbing the tops of Sami’s ears.
How every time I step out my back door, the turkeys greet me with a friendly call that sounds like a hundred falling droplets of water.
The way our children like to recall their fondest memories of whichever animal is gracing our dinner plates.
The swiftness of pigs.
A goats ability to befriend any creature.
Walking into a chicken coop full of hens and feeling like you have been thrust into the middle of some tawdry conversation and interjecting “Oh no she din’t” as you gather up their eggs and listen in on their gossip.
This brief period of time when I can wrap my arms entirely around Honey Bunny from the withers down and how when I rub her at the base of her neck, she will lower her head to the ground and moo softly.
The way the kittens try to nurse on Sami and the way she lets them make biscuits on her belly.
Riding bareback quietly down a trail and being startled when Yak nickers because then it suddenly hits me that we are, in fact, two separate beings instead of one.
Here’s to the simple, quiet moments – To all of them, and all of you.