Tuesday, August 4, 2009

the goat walks

There is a time here on the farm I am growing very fond of. It's the very last outing of the evening. It happens when there is only a scarce twenty minutes before dark, and all the animals have grazed or been fed. I have done all this woman can do in a day. I went to work, I farmed all evening, I took my dogs out for a three-mile walk, and I came home and cooked a good meal. All the animals (including me) are content for another night. I look around at all the closed pens and shut coop doors and then look down at my little goat on his tie out. When this stolen quiet comes I grab Finn's lead and we go for a walk. It's 8PM and and I end my day with a little brown goat on some dirt roads.

We don't walk far. I usually have a stomach full of food (tonight I feasted on some Amy's soup with homemade bread and sweet corn from a neighbor's farm) and am growing tired. We move slowly. It's a post-meal jaunt over the little dirt bridge over the stream. We head down to the main road and every now and then Finn tries to eat a dead leaf on the ground. I must be patient because I am asking a ruminant to traverse land without devouring it: a sin to those with hooves.

We don't see a single car. I listen to the sounds of weather changing—leaves tossing in the limbs above us, a burnt brush pile crackles to our right on someone's property. The air smells like smoke and cut grass. It smells like August. The temperature in the shade of the sugar maples is cool. Then the wind kicks up and warm air rushes into us like a storm's grandson. Finn's confused by the sudden change in the world and bows down on his front legs and jumps into the air, throwing his horns into nothing to fight the barometrics. I smile. I never said he was smart.

At the risk of sounding nostalgic I will say this: If I am lucky, and get to live a few more decades—I think I will look back on these rituals and be glad. I'll remember the summer nights at the cabin walking silently alongside my young goat, scanning the treelines for fireflies.

These are the reasons I do all this.

10 Comments:

Blogger twistie said...

I know that you know how blessed you are because you savour every minute of life! The good, the bad and the down and dirty! What a great post tonight.

August 4, 2009 at 10:02 PM  
Blogger Tora: said...

Wonderful post Jenna, thank you for sharing your snippet of life on the farm - you never fail to make me smile.

August 4, 2009 at 10:42 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

Hey Jenna - I just found your blog and I think you're awesome! I'm moving to CT soon, maybe I'll swing up VT ways sometime. I can sort of play the violin - now I'm inspired to fiddle! I love mountain music.

August 4, 2009 at 11:24 PM  
Blogger P said...

'Then the wind kicks up and warm air rushes into us like a storm's grandson'...you should really think about writing another book Jenna- that was beautifully written.

August 5, 2009 at 1:02 AM  
Blogger Melodie said...

While reading this I felt like I was right there with you .Beautiful !

August 5, 2009 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

Early morning with the dogs and late evening with the goats are my favorite times of day. This made me smile.

August 5, 2009 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger chris said...

Thanks for taking all of us on your walk with you Jenna. It was a welcome respite from the office.

August 5, 2009 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger Karen Sue said...

Jenna-
Could I tag you? I've never done these things before, but I really did think it is interested to have people say what they think about themselves is awesome. I know when I read, what you do that impresses me, but what do you do that you think is most cool??

http://justtwiddlin.blogspot.com/2009/08/ive-been-tagged.html

Karen

August 5, 2009 at 9:56 PM  
Blogger Marcia said...

Thank you for the loveliness of your writing!
It works like a balm at this point when I'm farming and runing a school, and fell so overwhelmed with the amount of work. Down here, in the southern hemisphere (I'm a brazilian living in Chile) nature is quite awesome too and reading your lines help me to reconect with what really matters. Thank you.

August 7, 2009 at 8:29 AM  
OpenID localnourishment said...

Ah, again you encourage me to live deliberately and slow down enough to see life passing me by.

Drat.

August 7, 2009 at 9:48 AM  

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