Cow and Calf
Home to me is a Nova Scotian farm. It is nestled in a quiet Acadian village in Northeastern NS where the harbour water meets my family's fields. About 30 or so head of cattle wander through the woods, making it home every night for supper. I can romanticize the place saying it is paradise nestled between the rolling hills, the calm forest, and my father's fruit trees, but I won't. That is not something I have to do. Everyone who has ever had a home understands the magic that their "home" holds for them. It is not just just the place, but the people that live and breathe life into the place. Home to me is mom and dad, my sister and brother, my husband, my grandparents, and all of the animals.
I was never much of a farmer. My grandfather is the farmer of the family. At almost 85 years old, he is still actively farming like a young man. My father has been by his side every day of his life. They, together are this team where half sentences count as conversations. I never had the desire to farm that my grandfather has, but I can appreciate the intricacies of the farm.
Cows birthing in the barnyard are normal. I have always found that a cool thing. Found it a little odd and worrisome when my father or grandfather would reach into the cow and pull on the calf's legs until out came a great big calf. Basically, an unnecessary intervention to make a farmer's night pass a little quicker. Rarely of benefit to the cow.
On the farm I learned that this wasn't a requirement for safe birth. I learned about IVF calves born as twins. Those twins needed the vet to be called more often than the single calves born. I learned how resilient babies can be. How nurturing their mothers can be. The mother cows who have not had a childbirth class knew instinctively how to become mothers.
I am happy to be helping mothers, human mothers, realize their potential. I am proud to help nature work itself out naturally. Being with mothers and creating a space for them welcome new life into their family is a privilege and a wonderful honour. Thank you to all mothers.
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