I heard a whipporwill crying out this evening as I milked Coco. The plaintive song conjures up a feeling inside me of longing for something I can't even begin to understand. When I was a girl in Oklahoma I would set up a cot on the front porch in early summertime so I could listen to the song of the whipporwill. Even then it made me hungry for something I could not identify.
Many years passed without hearing my favorite bird. A plain bird. Not much to look out.
I don't think I would recognize it if someone were to bring me one in a cage.
Last year I prayed to God and told him that I would truly appreciate a love note from him in the form of a whipporwill. When we moved here I heard one. But not again. For a long time.
When I heard the song a night later I wept.
About three or four weeks ago, I am not sure when, I heard it again. I felt hugged.
Three or four times this year I have been outside at the right time to receive my love note.
I didn't want to milk tonight.
We butchered around 60 chickens today. Started early. Worked hard. The kids did an amazing job. The Depret-G's were here to help as per their wonderful usual. No injuries. No stitches needed. We even got things cleaned up, chickens wrapped up, and showers taken in time for the ladies Tues. night Bible study. Coco mooed to me as I said farewell to the ladies, telling me I was an hour late.
"Ughhh. Could you please milk yourself, Coco?"
I looked up at the faint streaks of lightning flickering miles down the valley. The growing moon glowed. The fireflies sparkled in the treetops.
Mechanically I walked into the house, washed the milking bowl and headed out to call for Coco.
As we settled in to our routine I heard it. My love note. The precious song of the whipporwill. I felt like God was giving me a big pat on the back, letting me know that he recognized all our hard work and was pleased. Streaming creamy milk, smell of crushed chamomile as we milked in the grass tonight, sight of Rose and Maggie catching fireflies and putting them in jars made the exhaustion not so painful.