Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Start at the end

So here we are at the beginning of the end of the year. We finished up our farmers market season two Saturdays ago and are looking forward to the regenerative rest of Winter. Now that the dark season is upon us, I hope to start blogging in earnest. We'll see what the season has in store.

The other day, I read a sad and beautiful poem on the family cow listserve that I frequent; it seemed to fit the mood of the season so well that I thought it would be a perfect way for me to start the blog. To me, this poem speaks about regeneration and hope in the midst of a deep inner Winter. I hope you enjoy it as I have.

By Norah Pollard

I knew a woman who washed her hair and bathed
her body and put on the nightgown she'd worn
as a bride and lay down with a .38 in her right hand.
Before she did the thing, she went over her life.
She started at the beginning and recalled everything—
all the shame, sorrow, regret and loss.
This took her a long time into the night
and a long time crying out in rage and grief and disbelief—
until sleep captured her and bore her down.

She dreamed of a green pasture and a green oak tree.
She dreamed of cows. She dreamed she stood
under the tree and the brown and white cows
came slowly up from the pond and stood near her.
Some butted her gently and they licked her bare arms
with their great coarse drooling tongues. Their eyes, wet as
shining water, regarded her. They came closer and began to
press their warm flanks against her, and as they pressed
an almost unendurable joy came over her and
lifted her like a warm wind and she could fly.
She flew over the tree and she flew over the field and
she flew with the cows.

When the woman woke, she rose and went to the mirror.
She looked a long time at her living self.
Then she went down to the kitchen which the sun had made all
yellow, and she made tea. She drank it at the table, slowly,
all the while touching her arms where the cows had licked.