Sunday, January 29, 2012

Conditions for Contentment

I am up and at 'em this morning, thanks to my little guy who must have missed me, and I have had moments alone...thus, complete thoughts.

We were able to go to dinner with a lot of good friends last night, and although were invited to continue our evening at a friends' house, were unable to attend thanks to calving.

For a minute or two as our invitation was declined, I started to feel sorry for myself.

Why can't we go?
Why can't we just stop by for a minute?
Would our friends quit inviting us because we are so weather/calf/the way the wind blows dependent on our social invitations?

However, on the way home, Joe and I stopped at the calving barn to do his evening check. He asked if I wanted to step into the barn and see what it was like. Considering my footwear, and the fact that it was cold, I started to say no, but stopped myself.

Why shouldn't I go in?
Who cares if my fancy "town" shoes get a little mud and/or poop on them?
Why shouldn't I be interested in Joe's livelihood (don't I want him to be interested in mundane as it may seem at times?)?

So, taking careful steps, I waded through snow, straw, and something else into the calving barn.

What happened next was cathartic.

My snarliness of the quick ending of our evening subsided. The barn was so quiet, softly lit, smelling sweet like fresh straw, and the mama cows were all huddled together, as if they were seeking support from other mothers during the end of their pregnancies.

Joe quietly opened gates, counting the herd, making note of tail position and other things, making these sounds to soothe the anxious girls.

It was so serene, I can see why he doesn't mind checking all the time. As I looked up at the roof of the barn, I imagined the scene in the movie Witness when the Amish were putting together the barn. Each beam was perfectly cut, positioned, and designed for the correct acoustics, light, and warmth for prime animal husbandry conditions. I am embarrassed to say that in the almost five years we have been farming, I have never been in that barn, but now that I know what it's like, I might need to step in once in a while when I need a moment.

So, what could have turned out to be another time when I was frustrated to be a farmer's wife, I'm not. I just need to find conditions where I can feel so content. I need to remember that this is Joe's job. He's not checking the conditions for fishing or hunting or golfing. He's checking our assets, making sure they're content.

Don't we all need to check our assets for contentment?
Shouldn't we all have a place where it's quiet, calm and smelling faintly of cow poop?

Well, maybe not, but I might start surrounding myself in straw and old beams...then I will remember that feeling of contentment on those not-so-content days!


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  2. What a great Sunday morning read! Thank you for sharing :)