Moses

Another layer to what they don’t tell you about farming – how you’ll learn, over and over, the hard way, to take nothing and no one for granted, and to always say goodbye.

After his two-week absence, we have determined that Moses, Grand View Farm‘s mascot and one of my best buddies, isn’t coming back.

Perhaps it’s silly or stupid to be sad about this – there are risks involved in being a barn cat, foxes and fisher cats being high on the list. Perhaps, as farmers and thus as people intimately connected to nature’s cycles, we’re heartless. Perhaps we have to be, a bit.

Or perhaps it’s okay to cry oneself to sleep because he was barely two years old, and because his brother Aaron disappeared similarly a year ago, and because we’ll miss his face staring through the porch window at us all winter, and because he lived in our hearts more than the barn, and because even though I said goodbye when I left home this summer I counted on seeing him again at Christmas.

Moses’ brother Aaron disappeared last year. The year before that we lost one of out oldest and most beloved ewes. The year before that we put down our young border collie and first family dog. There have been many more sheep and lambs lost, and our first llama along with both her children, and a second llama, and four more cats. When I was a little girl we buried countless beloved laying hens and small songbirds in the side meadow. I was nine years old when our first cat, Tia, with whom I had grown up, disappeared.

My sister and I walked our long dirt road for hours, knocking on doors and handing index cards with our phone number and Tia’s face drawn on them to the neighbors. I was convinced she’d come back.

I’ve learned better by now – once it’s been three days they’re never coming back, though my fool’s hope still lingers. Mourn, and move on. No amount of love or wishing can bring something back once it’s been lost.

That’s another thing they don’t teach you about farming – wishes can’t turn back time.

But good memories? Close your eyes. They can.

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12 Comments Add yours

  1. Lulu says:

    Well this is the contract you hypothetically sign when you start farming, or heck life in general. So when natural selection finally catches up with you it’s easier.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aunt Sylvia says:

    Oh no :- ( So sorry to hear about Moses. What a wonderful barn cat and overall good buddy, he was. Indeed he will be missed…by the entire barnyard and farmhouse. Take tender care of your heart Ms. Anna. Love, Auntie Sylvia

    Like

  3. taethiel says:

    It’s okay to cry yourself to sleep. In fact… it’s more than okay. In some strange way, it’s right. Because it’s the world that is wrong. Some day, it won’t be like this. Some day, everything sad will come untrue. Death will lose its sting. Some day.

    But until that day, I think it’s okay to cry.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Jacob Cullum says:

      *nods and agrees* =/

      Like

  4. Bessie Lark says:

    Oh my storming goodness Nessa. *hugs you and doesn’t let go*

    Like

  5. mariertps says:

    Nooooooooooooo not Moses *weeps* I’m so sorry, Anna. Truly.

    Like

  6. grannyandpoppy says:

    Anna,  We are so sorry about Moses. I was sitting on the porch with Moses on Friday evening. We had a nice talk and he got a good petting. I thought ” I wish he would go in the barn at night”. When he wasn’t there for breakfast the next morning, I just had a feeling that he was gone. Poppy and I walked up the road calling for him. Your neighbor at the top of the hill told us that one of the neighbors had seen a fisher cat, and three other cats in the neighborhood are missing. We sure didn’t hear anything that night.You are right, being a farmer is a hard life. Moses was well loved and had a good but short life. I think he is in cat heaven.Love Granny

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    1. AnnaEstelle says:

      I’m glad Mosey got some good loving. And I’m glad you guys were there to go looking for him. It makes it better knowing the farm and Moses were in good, capable, caring hands. =)

      Like

  7. So sorry to hear that – it’s hard. But I think it’s right to cry. One of the best books I know on faith and sadness – The End of Suffering by poet Scott Cairns – opens with the death of one of his dogs, and he talks about how simultaneously strange and appropriate that is – it might feel insignificant compared to other things, yet it is not as if there is ever a “right” place to start or a right vs. wrong subject – by its nature grief is unnatural and awkward, but it is perhaps the only alternative to hardness – which one admissibly must be sometimes to push through life, as you mention about farming. But one doesn’t have to give up tenderness in order to be fierce. It is I think the strongest people who weep; tears may on occasion be our deepest fear, but also our salvation. At least I hope that is the case.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. sarahtps says:

    I’m sorry, Anna.

    Like

  9. CKG says:

    The sugar house will not be the same without that cat sleeping on the woodpile and keeping me company…….

    Liked by 1 person

  10. vtgrandview says:

    Funny how such a tiny being can fill so much of your heart. I constantly look for Mosey, think I hear him, and even call for him. The yard feels lonely.

    Like

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