Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Tonight, as my friend Erin drove away, I walked the goats and Pyrenees pups back into their pen. Locked them in for the night and left them to the evening ritual of hay sniffing, table jumping, and grass rolling. Heading back towards the house, the long shadows from a fingernail moon fell everywhere across my path. I finally looked up at the thing and caught the weight of the night pulsing down on me - a liquid velvet canvas draped against something so bright - the stars appeared as pin pricks - light from behind the velvet night shining through each little hole. Before she left we talked for just a minute about that feeling you get underneath a big sky on a dark night. The reality of those stars, their death so many millions of years ago, their light only just coming here now - trying to think about it makes your mind bend a little and give up. We spent the evening making a quick cheese together and eating the one I'd made last night on the front porch with good crackers and pungent wine. She heard the frogs sing in the pond down below the house and watched Willy Boots play king of the mountain (no one else cared) on top of an overturned trough.

Photo courtesy of the fabulous Erin Negron
We all live in our own little ecosystem, something I never considered before the move here. Whether it's a cat inside an apartment navigating a relationship with a cricket along the baseboards, or a 100 acre farm filled with cattle and coyote - it's where you live and what you know and the balance you keep is precious.  In light of some drama this week (and last) involving my dog and the goats, I’ve been thinking a lot about peace-keeping and ideal environments and all those things you should consider when asking unlike beasts to coexist.  Locking animals into the places they sleep and watching them return to rituals they created without instruction – it makes me think about all this stuff, too.  I won’t ever understand the rhythms we fall into but I know respecting them is sacred.  Like the little cheese curd that’s forming in a pot on my counter.  It’s working like crazy to knit together and turn into something completely different from how it began, but if I were to shake that pot or stir its contents, it would be ruined.  I’ll never know what makes everything fall into place and hum along with order and repetition.  But it does make perfect sense that milk turns to cheese each time, regardless of whether I keep the temperature perfect and measure the exact amounts of rennet and culture.  Respecting some basic, fundamental rules means it will, in the end, become something else. 

So it follows that keeping some basic things in order here will maintain balance and peace so the goats can be goats, the dogs can be dogs, the chickens can be chickens and together they’ll be our version of a scrappy little farm.   

1 comment:

Aunt Lisa said...