Just in time too, my Cricket should be calving very soon. When I went to gather them up yesterday, she was lazily lounging in the afternoon sun. I scratched her behind the ear and then laid across her back and petted her mile-wide belly. She is my favorite girl, don’t tell the others. She is the one that instantly makes me smile. She is the one that always calls back first when I call to the herd. Actually, most of the time she calls me first. Isn’t that the way it goes though, with animals and kids? They train us much better than we train them. I promise, she knows the sound of my truck and my voice instantly. It’s impossible not to smile when I look up and see those big brown Jersey eyes already trained on me, waiting to see what I might bring.
Cricket was my first Jersey calf, she was love at first sight. Honestly, all my girls have been. Last year was her first year calving and she had a rough time. She still-birthed two beautiful little bulls, and was down for a day. My heart was broken for a bit. But, then she got back up and became one of my easiest milkers yet.
This year I’m anticipating a better outcome. There’s not much in life that brings more joy, happiness, and contentment than a healthy beautiful baby on the ground. Well maybe fresh milk, butter, yogurt, cheese…they can make me pretty happy too.
I realized when I went out to gather the girls yesterday, that these are the joyful moments that keep me going. I was dreading it a bit, not for any reason in particular. I love being with my cows. But, in the moments before heading out, it was just another thing on my To-Do-List which, by the way, seems to grow exponentially. It’s crazy to me how at times, even the things I love to do, are clouded with dread and infiltrated by procrastination. Over and over again I fight this same battle! I’m not exactly sure why, maybe I’m just really lazy at heart and have a severe case of denial about it. I’m cleverly disguised as a productive, responsible adult…I don’t know.
I do know, however, taking action is the only thing that cures it. When I stop thinking and do, I’m miraculously cured of the dread and overwhelm. Suddenly I’m in those joyful moments that do make the work worth it. I’m reminded that this is one of the things I love most about farming and living in the country, there’s an abundance of laborious work. (did I just say that!) Really though, nothing clears my head and cures my overwhelm like work. Work that I don’t really have to think about. Work that once started, just flows. Through the freedom of movement, I can begin to think again and dream and be.
Miss Cricket, Beauty Queen