1 October 2010

The rythyms of life. Family farm chronicles

The rythyms of life

Family farms are about the rythyms of life, as I have come to see at the Rouse Farm. They get up early, milk cows, work hard, go to the house, see the grandkids, have coffee and a slice of Michelle's apple pie, get in the tractor, go fix a silo or ruptured pipe, chop 20 acres of corn, fix the post at the rear of the barn, go to the house, have lunch, watch some news on TV, milk cows again.  Talk to relatives. These rythyms offer structure, tradition and connection. Most people are losing such rythyms in their lives.

The holes in our lives

Filling holes

I do think there is something to the idea that people who love animals have often known some pain, loss or disconnection in their lives. Loving animals can fill a hole in a life, bring connection, teach patience, provide nurture. Grieving for an animal is thus hard, and very painful for many. I'm glad I wrote a book on animal grieving, and am turning it in next week. Might be one of the more useful things I've done. Hope so.

Four Dogs in Bedlam

Four dogs, waiting

Called the four dogs across the street to wait for Maria so we could walk and they went into their photoshoot poses. I think these dogs were meant to be in the notecard business.

Letting the cows out

Back to pasture

A little before 9, Ed and Judy let the cows back out to pasture. It still pouring and windy, and you can't point the camera without the lens getting spattered, so that was part of what was happening, and I just decided to go with it. I am watching Judy carefully and she is teaching me about milking. More complex than you might think.

Judy and Madison

Madison and Judy

After four hours of grueling work in a raging storm, Judy and the family gather in the kitchen for breakfast and coffee and pie. Judy lights up when she sees Madison. So does Ed. He calls her "Horndog."