Monday, November 28, 2011

Goats For The Soul


It was dark outside. It was bright inside. 

It was cold outside. It was warm inside.

It was damp outside. It was dry inside.

But there were goats outside. There were none inside.

So outside I went, as I found myself with some spare minutes this evening! :) I've been so busy lately, that I haven't done much with the goats other than toss some hay into the manger, fill their water bucket, and open/close their door. They would sing softly to me as I passed them. Would I not stay a few moments and visit with them? No... I was too busy. I saw them only in the dark hours these past couple of weeks. Early morning, or late at night. No time... No time... I could not answer their soft, little pleas; asking me to stay a few moments... I had too many things to do. Unimportant things, really. But I was too busy... Too busy...

Then, when I found those extra minutes in my hand this evening at 5 'o' clock, I decided it was time to catch up with the girls. 

They sang their usual song when they saw me enter the barn. Would I not stay a few moments and visit with them? "Yes", I told them, "I am here for an overdue chat." I nested down into the warm straw bedding, and leaned against the wooden manger. Poppet climbed into my lap and was soon snoring quietly. Shilling leaned against my Carhartt coat. Pepper stood next to me. Heidi and Ivy puzzled over my funny smelling hair (they don't like the smell of hairspray it seems!), and Kiwi launched herself on me, attempting a bear hug. 

There I was. Completely surrounded and covered with goats. My goats. And by golly I was happy out there. The barn glowed softly with old light bulbs, and the smell of orchard grass hay was like an incense. The only noise heard was the soft breathing of 6 beasties. 

But there was one thing missing: The presence of Capri. How my Goat Song always loved to snuggle down for a good back rub... 

So amidst my goat hugs, I sang Capri's songs...

'Caledonia'. 'Send Me A Song'. 'Isle if Inisfree'. 'The Highway Man'. I sang those songs morning and night, every day, while out in the barn. They were Capri's songs.

Ivy recognized them as milking songs and excitedly danced at the gate, thinking she was about to get on the stand.

Not tonight dear Ivy... It will be many, many months before we start up our milking rituals again. Perhaps in the spring of 2013. That's a long time, dear Ivy. A long time. But one day we'll have routine up and running again. You will get on the milkstand, Dearest Ivy, and I will sing your songs. You always liked 'Skellig'... A deep, resonating, mournful song, that one was. Ivy, do you remember that spring morning when everything smelled of the blooming dog roses? I sang the ballad of 'The Highway Man', as well as 'Skellig'. The world seemed perfect at that moment, Ivy. Perfect. And I have never seen another morning like that one... No, not yet.

Still covered with goats, I finished Capri's songs.

With the end of the melodies, came the end of my visit. I picked sleepy Poppet up, and put her in the warm straw. The others bid me goodnight, and I walked out of the barn. The night was still cold, dark, and damp, but I was warm. Goats are good for the soul.

I walked back towards the house, alone, and wondered what on earth people do with cows.

You can't have a cow sleep on your lap.

1 comment:

Lindsey said...

This was the sweetest blog post ever! :-)

I know just what you mean about not having time lately to spend with your girls, it's been the same with me. I have time to feed, milk, and give my girls a pat or two, but none to spare, no time to linger and enjoy them. I hope to remedy that very, very soon.