Monday, October 6, 2008


Yesterday evening I could see the crescent moon out the barn door while I milked. It was hanging over the pond, just over the roof of our screened-in deck. Tonight she had moved a little bit to the east and I couldn't see her at all while I milked. She is a bit more plump. A bit of a haze around her when I went out to the barn, but as I returned to the house the haze was all gone. I was quite sad the last week or so I couldn't see her. It was so dark. So empty.

The other evening we read a fairy tale by George Macdonald called Little Daylight. It is the story of a precious little baby born to a king and queen, named Little Daylight because she was bright as the sun. Everyone was invited to the christening of the liitle princess, and everyone came. Good fairies offered their special gifts to the baby, but unfortunately, as in real life, there had to be a wicked fairy. She gifted Little Daylight with the gift of "little daylight", giving her the gift of sleeping all day long,whether she like or not, and decreed that every night she would wax and wane with the moon. Of course, as in every good story, a redemptive fairy came along behind the wicked one, and her gift stated that the curse would be undone when a prince came and kissed the princess without knowing it. You will have to borrow the book to see for yourself. It is a cute little story and I think of it as I enjoy the moon.

George Macdonald was a rather unorthodox Scottish pastor who lived 1824-1905. His fairie stories and fantasies were source of inspiration for Tolkien, CS Lewis, Madeline L'Engle and many others. Some of his passages are a little wordy and very "Victorian." Some are absolutely and unforgettably inspired. The fairie stories, like the Light Princess and The Giant's Heart are so contemporary and humorous I have a hard time believing they were written over a hundred years ago. Other books, like Lilith and Phantastes are out of this world with a Salvador Dali-like surrealism. We especially love The Princess and The Goblin.

I have been milking Coco since the end of December. Almost 10 months. Every evening I want to groan as I look at the clock and have to head out to the barn. Til I get outside and look around. And listen. The moon and stars are becoming my friends. I have great prayer time milking Coco. When I feel stressed, I try to think of all the scriptures that apply to my circumstances, or my family's circumstances, or the plight of the poor and hungry, hurting and needy. Lately I have taken to speaking those scriptures aloud. Coco doesn't seem to care, one way or the other. But she certainly gives great creamy milk. What a gal. I forgot to tell her that one of our cow share people emailed her a blessing on Sunday since it was the feast of St Francis. Hope I remember to tell her in the morning.

It is a blessing having to go out and milk every morning and night. I never used to miss the moon when she was dark and hidden, back in the days before milking. But if I don't make an awful lot of mozzarella cheese and butter tomorrow, our fridge is going to be BEYOND overflow! Wonder if I can get the kids to drink one more glass of milk before they go to bed.


Tom Atkins said...

I'll have to look up George McDonald. I have a weakness for writers of that period and have a fair number of books from then in my library - not for looks though, but to actually read!

CountryDew said...

I have never heard of George McDonald. I will have to look him up.