On Raising Cows

I love to travel, and today I am sitting no more than two hundred feet from the waters of beautiful Morro Bay. Darkness reigns outside, and the sky is sprinkled with hundreds of blinking stars. Of course I am not sitting out there — it’s too cold for me — but in a comfortable chair in front of the fireplace (which for some reason refuses to turn on). The window shutters are down, but it doesn’t matter. I know the stars and the sea are there.

The landscape around Morro Bay stretches seemingly forever, pastoral farms, hills and sea. I love the space all around me. I love the farms. I love the cows dotting the hillside. I love how, when the shadows of the trees begin to stretch, the cows all follow each other back to the barn, the food, and the milking. I love the lines of planted fields, the color of newly turned soil. And I love how everything here is framed by the ocean.

Having a cow farm had always been a sort of dream of mine. I’d like to have a huge vegetable garden, overflowing with flowery lettuce and broccoli, waves of cucumbers and pumpkin, climbing pea plants, and sunshiny corn. I’d like to have pecan trees like my Uncle Yigal had when I was a kid, rows of them, an elfin forest where the air is cool and musty, and the leaves collect on the ground, hiding the treasured fallen nuts. I’d like to have peach trees and apple trees. And of course, the cows. And maybe a goat or two. Or sheep. An alpaca, perhaps?

Maybe you would ask what is stopping me from having a farm like that. Nothing but my own mind, I think — my fears, my beliefs about my limitations. I could have a farm. But how would I know how to take care of the cows? It seems like so much work! And I don’t like working so very much. And I’d need to be responsible, conscientious about  checking on the vegetables in the garden, picking the fruit when it’s ready, trimming trees and taking care of the animals! Yes, I want to be closer to the land and grow my own food, but… well, can’t I hire someone else to actually milk the cows?

Ah, the hypocrisy of it all! I can dream, but I do it best from behind my computer screen. I am better at writing about my cow farm, at imagining it, than I am at growing even the little bit of herb garden at my home. So maybe I won’t have a cow farm in this life. Maybe chickens and dogs are my limit. Or maybe, as I grow a little more to believe in the special powers guiding my life, I’d find a way to have that farm, milk those cows, and grow all the vegetables I could desire. One day. Perhaps.

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Sigal Tzoore (650) 815-5109