Friday, June 17, 2005

goats milk and cobwebs

Living out in the country makes some processes more obvious. The constant forces at work are visible, and many of one's tasks stem from either curtailing or encouraging the natural outpouring of creation. I milked the goat today, or helped to milk her, and each time I squeeze a thin stream from the living animal, I am amazed at the process. I also fed the goats alfalfa flakes, and the sweet alfalfa scent is in the milk--alfalfa to goat to milk to me--I ate goats milk yogurt just a couple minutes ago. The connections are so obvious out here. The black teat in my hands one minute, sweet kefir mixed with maple in my mouth the next. And there is something profoundly moving, to me, about carrying an aluminum pailful of milk up a garden path, and feeling the live heat from the milk on the bottom of the pan.

The cobwebs are another thing. The spiders here are always spinning, big and small, young ones, baby ones, they inhabit every free inch of space, between the bones, in the rock wall, the green house, on cabinet doors, decorations, candlesticks, corners, and their webs drift across--or connect--all the objects in the house. It's an endless task to wipe them down; and how tenacious they are--they don't unmoor easily, and even when they do, they ball up in sticky clots that won't come free. They snag, they hang, they snarl up, and as you knock each down there are hundreds of spiders, visible and invisible, spinning more. This feels profound to me, the act of taking down cobwebs and the constant energy of the spiders. The spiders, of course, have the advantage.

We plant tomatoes next.
There is always more work to do. But the work--the cleaning, the planting, the maintaining, makes sense to me. Even when I have spiderwebs in my hair, hayseeds under my fingernails, and goat shit on my shoes, or perhaps especially then. It didn't rain today--another blessing, when you're living in a tent.

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