Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cloudy with a pretty good chance of tear fall.

Heavy air blanketed the farm. Dark clouds rolled in, thunder boomed, raindrops fell, but intermittently. The green of the fields and the green on the ridge seem neon-like this thunderstormy afternoon.

Mr. Hill picked up Priscilla today. She is going to live on their farm, next door to Rachel and Jason. It kind of makes me feel better knowing that Sophie, Boone and Mec (and Sam) will get to be right over the fence from her. Sort of like keeping her in the family.

But even so, as I look out my window at the most lovely of valleys, graced with clouds, I feel pain. I remember when she came as a teeny baby to our farm, glued to Coco's side. I remember when she birthed Dulce, and how Philip and I were by her side, and how he had to give a pull on that baby when she took just a little too long. He was so happy to be a farmer. That was just a few weeks or so before he died.

I remember when she got mastitis and we had to spend hours for days massaging and milking her, and how Patrick got to be an amazing milker on her.

I know that most beef farmers or even large, mechanical dairy farmers would probably scoff at my sentimentality. But there is a unique relationship that develops with a person and their hand-milked cow. Every morning and every evening, you squat by their flank, smell their sweet smell, pause and be still while white gold steams into the bucket. The seasons come and go. You learn the personality of that milk cow, her idiosyncracies, and she learns yours.

For some reason, seeing Priscilla leave, more than about any other animal on this farm, makes me want Philip back. I miss him. I wish he didn't have to die. I wish we could go back to how it was a year, two months and two days ago. Funny how different kinds of grief get all tangled up, isn't it?