Monday, November 7, 2011

Our Journey! Illusion? 19

                        For water continually dropping will wear hard rocks hallow.


The March winds are blowing; it is so cold it pierces your coveralls. It has been storming for two days. The snow is piling up. The cows are all huddled in the drive shed. M and I along with My Hero head to the barn to do the chores. There is a snowdrift behind the shed it seems out of place, we go to investigate. My Hero brushes the snow aside. I find myself standing there holding M’s hand, looking down staring into the face of Whitey the cow.
 Somehow she had wandered away from the herd during the storm, she had laid down on the cold ground and just died during the night. This beautiful white, fluffy pile of snow was a cow we had loved and taken care of for years. She depended on us to keep her safe, and we had failed.
  My eyes quickly dart from Whitey, to M, and back to Whitey. My sweet innocent little girl standing there staring at this cow she had been petting just weeks before. I wanted to scoop her up and run as far away as I could.
 My mind was flooded with questions. Why did we move here? Why did I stay? Is M going to remember all this?
 I cannot think of any of the good times only the bad memories run through my mind like a nightmare I cannot escape. Another death, only the cold and death; is that all there is?
 This mound of snow had me questioning everything.
 We turn around and head to the barn as if it was normal; we start to do the chores. I try to keep my pain hidden. I am growing so weary of pretending I can do this. I don’t think I can. We have lost so many cows, and pigs over the years, too many to count. Is this what farming is all about?
 Will the dead stock truck be coming here forever? 
 I hate that truck, the driver knows us by our first names, and we know his. Are we doing something wrong? Does death and farming have to go hand in hand? Why would people put themselves on this emotional roller coaster of extreme highs, and terrible lows? In our case there seems to be many more lows.
 All of these questions are running through my mind as I throw the bales of hay into the stanchions. I look over to My Hero with the manure fork in his hand, he smiles.  Does he feel the same way? He hides his feelings well, behind a suit of armour. My eyes are full of tears; where is my armour?
 I start to wonder if this new dream house is just to be our illusion. A warm place but with a door that still leads to the realities of farm life, of death and heartache. A life of pain.
  The electricians will be here in the morning wiring the house. It won’t be long now. We finish the chores and we head back into the house. My Hero puts wood in the old wood stove, and I pick up the phone and dial. "Hello Joe could you please come, we have another pick-up."



  1. Oh, terribly sad.

    I've only been farming, and borrowed farming at that, for a little less than a year now. It has changed so many things that I thought I wanted. Such a tender life if you have a loving heart.

    But, you have your hero and M and one of the best hearts I know. I'm quite sure that the Beauty outweighs the Ugly.

    I envy you, your little dream.
    Keep going.....or what does a Borrower have to look forward to, eh? ;)

    Much love and huggies!

  2. It certainly sounds as if you have had a real struggle to get where you are today. I don't think it is something I could do. Well done for sticking in there.
    You write so well you definately have a way with words.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Your writing is tremendously powerful, both gripping and poignant as you touch on and attempt to uncover the meaning behind this frail existence of ours. I think one could call your writing existential? I know this piece, today, comes from a place of pain, yet it has such beauty in the raw exposure of your feelings. It's almost as if the lovely white cow's death is a metaphor for everything. I don't know what words of comfort to offer you, other than to say you are experiencing life in its totality, birth through death and everything in between. Being a deeply sensitive and intuitive person, you feel things in technicolour, both the happy and distressing parts. It's this that makes you the great writer you are. A true poet of emotion. Big hug xoxo

  4. What people think rural/farming life is and what it actually is -- can be a rude awakening when you share these types of stories.

    Makes or breaks a person.

  5. Oh how true this is. I have suffered with the same thougths and it is terribly hard. I have no answers but love that you put this into words.

  6. So sad, but so true. Along with maintaining life there is always death.

    Before I raised miniature horses, if you had told me I would rock a frozen foal in my arms and scream to the rafters while tears fell, I would have said, no, I'm tough.

    That's what makes farmers/ranchers such a gentle, weathered, wise, strong bunch of people. Facing life's hardships every day and somehow, always finding the good in it.

  7. you have such a gift of conveying such heartbreak, yet maintaining some form of resolve and underlying faith... :)

  8. I was so sad reading about your cow...farming truly is not for the weak, and you are a strong woman! I enjoy the way you write things...even difficult a positive manner!

  9. At least you care enough to feel sorrow for the animals. So many farmers just consider them as property to be bought, sold, punished and/or discarded. It is a blessing and a curse to care and love.

  10. As our youngest daughter just bought a farm..(see today's blog post) and she talks of there dreams, I what you wish for...or dream..It's alot of work..and heartache...

  11. When sadness overwhelms me at an animals death, I console myself with the thought that their life, although brief, was, with my help,a happy one.

  12. ohhh...there are ups and downs in every walk of life...but, indeed, farming is harder than most. and i don't even know first hand. but, you are srong this i know!! :)

  13. Farming is much more difficult than people realize.

  14. Hate to hear that. Loss is hard, no matter what. Don't worry about your armour. Sandra

  15. I can definitely feel how low you felt back then...and now as you remember.

  16. B, I am so sorry about the loss of your sweet cow. It is a harse reality of raising livestock. I hate it when when of our cows or calves die. It doesn't get easier, but knowing that they lived a good life and we took good care of them makes it a little better. You and your hero are doing a wonderful job raising healthy livestock, living a good, clean life and raising a beautiful child who will have very fond memories of a great childhood. Stay strong sweetie!

  17. whether or not you realize it what you are writing is very important. As so few people have been raised in farm environments now I see an overly " fairy tale " version of farm life portrayed in movies, on the internet and books. It is a harsh life, brutal ,unapologetic and unforgiving. Most uninitiated are totally unprepared for the reality. I do worry for young people who are starting out.Reading real accounts of the hardships may give them a clearer picture of the fortitude ( or insanity?) required!


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

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