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we (as humans) are not unaccountable sovereigns over God’s creation – but we are an integral player, a dependent leader, a humble servant steward, accountable in all things – who needs other creatures to make our Eden’s thrive. Lucy also taught me that I cannot out run a Jersey cow – but I can keep up on a mountain bike. More times than I can count – did she take advantage of poor fencing, to find a neighbor’s bull, other cows – or to go gallivanting in search of greener pastures. Reluctant to come home, my boys and I would have to chase her (and sometimes one of her calves) on foot and by bicycle across open pastures at the neighbor’s farm until she was carefully coaxed into returning through an open gate. And now – I know, though she is gone, she will not return here. This time we do not have to chase her down. She is with a new family, with other cows and animals – exactly what she had been looking for all along. Hopefully she will balance her sass with grace a little more generously then she did with us at first. And hopefully, one day when we have our own farm, we’ll return again to the rhythms of milking. ================= Some final thoughts: Animals, and specifically I am thinking of farm animals are increasingly becoming somewhat of a mythology because they are disappearing from our lives. And while wild animals may disappear because of migration or extinction – farm animals disappear because we abandon our farms and agrarian ways that have sustained us through every human generation. A family milk cow becomes a novelty or a hobby or a children’s book fairy tale – when once they were a necessity. But is that necessity really in the past? No – it is true even in the modern, industrialized present. Still we depend on these farm animals – but like our dependence on the land and those who work the land on our behalf, our consciousness of them has been pushed to the margins – out of sight, out of mind. The proxies by which we live are invisible and we dwell in certain forms of ignorance because we choose this to be so. With every generation, farming is more and more mechanized – even automated, breathtaking in scale and scope, and more and more entangled within the hands of corporate monopolies. But no CEO, new machine, or scientific method can ever replace the good work of farm animals. A family milk cow is still the best way to turn grass into real, golden butter. And no level of effortless comfort or convenience can separate us from our dependence on land and animals alike.  May we relearn the God-given wisdom hidden in the trials and virtues of keeping a family milk cow – and may we relearn our place in all that God has given.]]>