Monday, May 9, 2011

A Gentle Rythmn (Hedgewyck)

It's been eight months since I've enjoyed the twice daily ritual of milking.  My cow, Daisy, was such a comfortable person, placidly accepting whatever mood I was in.  I found it terribly hard to stay upset when faced with such formidable serenity.  Of all the things we left behind, I missed milking the most.

Yet Hedgewyck is not a place for cows and we could not make it so without subduing its untamed magic.  It is a thorny maze of blackberry brambles, small oaks, and wildflowers with more rocks than soil. It is a place for bobcats to stalk, coyotes to howl, and rabbits to hide.  Treeless expanses and lush carpets of grass do not belong in our wild woods. Daisy would not have been happy here.

But my milking days are not over.  I can still greet the sun with a foaming container of warm, sweet milk and breathe the cool evening air while listening to the rythmic pulse of liquid hitting the inside of the jar.  My new Nubian goat compainions, Chloe and Tinkerbell, are not placid like Daisy.  They have an eager curiosity and are sweetly affectionate.  I often find myself receiving warm goat kisses on the cheek when I bend to open the gate.  While I know they are more likely to imitate a bad mood than accept it, it is hard to stay angry at such whimsy.

So now I have the best of both worlds.  I have my gentle rythmn back and Hedgwyck has creatures who truely appreciate it.  The girls spurn grass as nearly inedible, instead eagerly nipping twigs and new leaves from here and there, sampling a bit of everything Hedgewyck has to offer.  And by drinking the rich milk they give us and eating the savory cheeses we make from it, so do we.

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