We awoke to wind-driven snow, four-inches on the ground and mounting, the cows on the wrong side of their sagging fence. I’d been pushing them to clean up the unsavory remnants of a round bale, and their displeasure was evident. It was not yet daylight, though the accumulated snow lent its particular luminescence. I lay flakes of hay to kneel on for milking, a little prayer mat on which to repent my sins one squirt at a time. Locked my sister in the closet. Squirt. Snitched one of my father’s Lucky Strikes. Squirt. Snitched another. Squirt. I’d keep going, but they only get worse, and I doubt you really want to know, anyway.
I’m always glad for chores on mornings like these, when I might otherwise not find my way outdoors. There is always a little detail I find striking; this morning it was Pip’s soft and intermittent lowing, uncharacteristic for her, maybe the result of the weather or some other grievance, though I didn’t try to imagine what she was saying or why. I just milked atop my hay mat, watching the wet flakes melt into the heat of Pip’s coat, until the bucket was full and my hands ached with the cold.
I released Pip from her halter and hung it over the fence post. She ambled back to her mates and I to mine.
The late, great Rory Gallagher with A Million Miles Away. Hell, yeah.