This evening after supper, I went for a rare walk all by myself. I had been gone from the farm most of the day and I needed (wanted) to go up to the pasture to check on Lilly one last time before night fell. She is due to calve any moment now and I’m kind of obsessed with her progress. Once she calves, my daily routine is going to experience a major shift and I want to be as ready as I can be for that change. Experienced milk-maid I am not.
When I arrived at the animal’s paddock, the sun was heading quickly for the horizon. Soft pink wisps of clouds reached through the western sky like fingers. I think every single cow’s and sheep’s head was bent towards the ground, contentedly grazing. A few stray heads raised up at the sound of my approach, pausing momentarily from their supper to greet me with blank, unquestioning stares. There’s probably over 200 critters in that paddock right now, but the amount of noise coming from all of those animals was minimal. Just the sound of hooves gently moving about and grass being ripped, bite by bite. (It makes me wonder just how it is that my three small children are capable of such volume?!!!!) I noticed that Lilly had stopped her grazing and found a comfortable spot to lay down with a few other cows.
I’m not sure there is anything more peaceful than a cow laying in a high grassy pasture under a pink sky on a warm summer evening, ruminating. Heaven is right here on earth, indeed.
I stepped quickly over the hot fence to avoid getting shocked, and meandered through the sea of sheep to where Lilly was resting. I sat down beside her in the pasture and felt her peace. I thought my busy thoughts and wondered about why humans get swept up in such busyness. Too bad we weren’t designed to be ruminants… I think this world would be an entirely different place.
As I sat with Lilly, her peace radiated. I couldn’t help but sense that she might be in the early throes of labor, but maybe it was just my eager imagination. As much as I felt drawn to just lay down in the grass and sleep with the herd, my own precious little herd of noisy non-ruminants was pulling my strings homeward. So I left the pasture and walked the dusty dirt road back to the house; back to pajamas and bedtime kisses, teeth-brushing and drinks of water… and eventually a quiet, dark house and a little time for my own style of ruminating.