Living in the Moment

When Daddy  moved us to our first  farm during  my youth , we made our new home in a  small, white,  story and a half farmhouse near the small town,  Buford, Ohio.    I was four. We originally had milk cows, the black and white Holsteins that came with his dairy farm purchase. Milking everyday, two times each day became  "a drag", Daddy  said, and  milk prices were plummeting,  so he sold those cows   and decided to buy a herd of  beef cows.For his new herd, he  chose  the White-Faced Polled Hereford  as shown in this lovely photo my friend Lisa shared with me,  of  her grandparents herd in West Virginia.

 This photo stirred  up many  memories of days gone by when I fell in love with those white- faced cows Daddy  bought us.  I loved  everything about being on the  farm and especially the animals and nature. I still do.     I remember there seemed  to be something magical to me about  those white-faced  cows. Their eyes where  big and blue.  Their eyelashes were remarkably long and their  breath smelled good.  Often times we  would greet each other by   touching  noses and  inhaling  and exhaling.  Their smell was  good, their noses moist.
 One day,  my older sister and I  decided  to try and ride them.    "You go first," I told her. "No you first," she insisted.   She was scared to be first, I could tell,  so I,  being  more daring than she,  decided to ride a cow. Debbie  gave me a boost up  and  surprisingly,  the cow didn't  move much at all, not even with our nudges.They just  continued  grazing. There wasn't anything to hold on to, no mane like our pony,  so it was a little  exhilarating when they did take a step or two. The ones we rode didn't seem to care, except for Big Red.  Once on her back, she  walked  more than the others and looked back at me,  a  little agitated and then  sped up.   I slid off real quick,  afraid of being bucked off like in the rodeo.

We created some more fun with the cows and for ourselves   by  trying to get away from the herd knowing what they would do.  When we would run ahead , they would follow. When we stopped, they would stop too and  graze some more. Our herd  was  very  friendly and curious. It really was quite fun.  Who needed toys. We had the best fun in the pasture field of our youth  with a herd of cows.

One  life lesson I learned from the farm  was not only that  Big Red didn't like to have someone on her back, but when  she was showing signs of calving;  the first cow that I was schooled by Mom  to the signs of eminent birth: swelling, discharge, agitation, separation. "She'll have it tonight," she said matter-of-fact.   So we penned  her up in the make shift stall in the pole barn for safe keeping.

Back then and still today, I am always  intrigued with the miracle of birth.  To think a calf was living inside her large abdomen  was exciting enough for a seven year old, but I hoped I might get to see it being  born. I couldn't stay awake though, but  I did make several, scary trips to the barn, in the dark, with a flashlight.

The next morning, sure enough,  just as Mom had known,  she had a beautiful calf standing next to her side.
Her  baby- face was  whiter than snow. Her  clean, red fur,  slightly curly was  soft as cotton. A her,  I learned was called a heifer and a him  was called a bull. Farmer terminology 101.

She was  the cutest newborn I had ever seen,  especially  when she would  run and jump and then come over to check me out.  When she would  nurse, I thought it so cute that she had   bubbles frothing from her mouth.  I would get right up beside her  and watch intently. And one day, I too tested the milk by  squirting  it straight into my mouth for a taste. Yep. It was  good. Real good.

 And then,  when she was tired after her tummy was full, she would gingerly lie  down in the straw and  tuck her head toward her tummy.  I didn't want to leave   just yet, so I too, would lie  down next to her and snuggle, so  loving my life on the farm.   Big Red didn't mind my company either. She just stood chewing her cud, eyes half closed.   And at that moment, I was truly living in the moment as kids most generally  do,  and  all was well with the world.

So Here's the Thing: Living in the moment, like a curious kid,  and sucking up all the details with no distractions,   is the best moment of the day. Pause soon  and suck up one of those "living in the moment, moments." Let me know what your moment was.

Take Joy!


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