Saturday, October 20, 2012

If Not For You

What happened was it turned to winter all in one day. The leaves fell off the trees and the rain started pouring down. The sun shut off - click! - just like that. This was very depressing.

Then the next day the farmer came out at dinnertime and called the herd weak-mindedly. "BETSY!"

Everybody looked around. Betsy? Is Betsy here?

The farmer looked grim.

Then Lori came over and Lori trundled about in the usual fashion knocking things over and misplacing things and showering everyone with cookies and candy but looking rather gloomy and in the end Lori said to no one in particular, "you know I can get used to a lot of things but I just can't get used to not seeing Penrose."

The farmer turned away.

One of the farmer's friends arrived in the middle of a downpour and looked at Sky Blue and at me, we were standing next to each other in the pasture. "It's funny," she said absently, "they both look just like Hannah Belle."

"Mmm," said the farmer, and changed the subject.

Well what are you going to do. Are you going to clomp around with your head down pretending Betsy never lived here?  Are you going to never mention Penrose again? Penrose? The patron saint of bummers and orphans? Really?

Are you going to frogmarch into the future as if my mother Hannah Belle possibly the finest or at least the second finest Nigerian Dwarf goat to ever walk the earth NEVER EVEN EXISTED????

Well I will tell you one thing, I am not. I am going to keep on living and remembering my absent friends and relatives and I suggest you do the same because what is the other choice anyway and as far as the winter and the rain and the leaves falling off the trees I am only one and a half years old but I can tell you for a certain fact that it happens every year and you better just GET OVER IT!!!


If not for me this whole place would go to rack and ruin. And the same is true of you. Whoever you are. Wherever you live. So get over it, whatever it is you can't get over. Just get over it.


Teresa Saum said...

Such a wonderful philosophy of life. Just get over it. I love love love your blog. Teresa

Ozarks Goat Girl said...

Dear Belle Starr,
You are a very insightful little doe, but you are only 1 1/2 years old and you do not really have a full understanding of life yet. The truth is, one cannot just "get over it" when referring to the loss of loved ones. One can keep on going, but not without a piece gone, a scar on the heart that does indeed change life. Some days such losses make us appreciate the little things in life all the more. Some days the memories make us laugh about an absent friend which is surely what they would want. Don't you want someone to smile and laugh with joy about you when you are gone? I do. Some days the sorrow of the absence make you want to do nothing but stare dully out the window because your heart is so heavy you can hardly breathe. Those are the days you need to try to mentally push the sorrow away and find the joyful memories instead. THAT is how we can deal with the holes left in our lives. At first that is really hard to do, but time, the remedy for so many things, the passing of time will make it easier to do that. You are right in that you and I should keep on living and remembering our beloved absent friends, but to say you or me or anyone else can just "get over" these losses is not possible. Instead, we learn to live with them. We have the sad days because we had such wonderful days. In the end, I say those of us who sorrow are the ones who have had much love. Lucky, lucky us.

Mimi Foxmorton said...


I didn't mean to cry out loud so early in the morning. :')

I think that this is the best post I have ever read. Ever.


Have a lovely, lovely weekend.....

Now, if you'll excuse me, I believe I have some things to get over. ;)

The Goat Borrower

Jessica said...

Generally, when someone tells me to "get over" something, what they are saying is both cruel and impossible. Human beings don't work that way. Ozarks Goat Girl said it well.

However, I think I understand what little Belle Starr? Millie? is saying: there's no good in avoiding thinking or talking about the painful truth. That makes sense to me.

Anyway, this was sad to read, but lovely.

(from a long-time lurker, first-time commenter.)

Anonymous said...

I don't really like California or California "stuff." However, our oldest son moved there a few years ago and he sent us a California-thing that has been very helpful with handling grief over the loss of one the world's greatest dogs - our healer, Blue. It is a headstone...similar to a human grave marker. It says, "Blue - 1998-2012 - We miss you, buddy." It stands over Blue's resting place and we see it as the location where all our feelings of loss are gathered. It marks the spot where we know Blue is and where we can visit him. There is something about designating a piece of this life to the lost loved one that really helps. Just a thought.

Marigold said...

I'm tryin' ...

Selkie and Sarabi said...

We are younger than you are and don't understand these things yet. We hear the pain, though, and we'll think about your thoughts and also the good words of Ozark Goat Girl today while we chew our cud and watch the rain. But here is something from Willa Cather that has the feeling of the day:

“The earth was warm under me, and warm as I crumbled it through my fingers...I kept as still as I could. Nothing happened. I did not expect anything to happen. I was something that lay under the sun and felt it, like the pumpkins, and I did not want to be anything more. I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep.”

We goats know this.

DebH said...

You have that right! I totally agree!

Goat Girls Rule! said...

Belle Starr -- you have to realize that when humans got their opposable thumbs they traded in their brains. Thus, unless they are opening feed sacks or grabbing your collar, they move with neanderthal clumsiness. Yours faithfully, Arum (9 year old milking mini-Nubian at Cudzoo Farm).

Anonymous said...

Remember fondly... Cry when needed... And move forward.

Queen Quattra said...

I have thought long and hard about this because that's what Queens do before they speak because it has to be right!! Belle is not telling us to get over any losses here...just the get over not talking about them or pretending they never existed..She and the others at Herron Hill could never in a million years get over the loss of Penrose, Betsy, Hannah Belle or any of the others that passed before them. No, never!! So just like the winter and rain and leaves falling off the trees...Get Over It!!

Karen C said...

Any chance you'd like to put up some sort of holiday/Christmas wish list? I feel like I get to read this really wonderful blog and never really have the opportunity to give something back. Just saying.

Ozarks Goat Girl said...

Did I scare you Belle Starr? Did you jump Winjay? Happy Halloween to all at Herron Hill! What is going on there on this most auspicious day?

Anonymous said...

We goats just don't have a long life span like some creatures and we are very complex to boot. The farmer fought tooth and nail for Hannah Belle so your herd is very fortunate to have that backing. For our end to be in loving care is of high esteem for the human in the eye of other humans who appreciate that.
By the way my existance was looking seriously bleak till my goat mom figured out I have a genetic zinc malabsorption problem.

Ozarks Goat Girl said...

Belle Starr, I am beginning to wonder if the whole farm has gone to rack and ruin despite your presence. Please write to confirm or deny this suspicion.

Anonymous said...

Well, it has been so long since we heard something about conditions there. The blog writer writes so entertainingly and profoundly, I really miss seeing something new.

A friend was commenting how personable and fun goats are, to live with, so it must be an occupational hazard to get close to so many goats, and they don't have a really long lifespan.

Selkie and Sarabi said...

We are sorry to have to report that our plan did not work. We happen to have 4 people of voting age living at our owner's house, so we've spent the last few weeks watching carefully for a way to get into the house and steal those mail-in ballots. We were planning to write in a Millie/Belle Starr presidency and restore Good Goat Sense throughout the land.

It is sad we could not do this. We were imagining that GMO alfalfa would be banned, newscasts would by law require "goat equal time", and in general, politics would become so fascinating that world rulers would, instead of making trouble, just say, "Awwwww, so cuuuute! And sensible! Of course we'll cooperate, what would you like us to do?"

It was a grand new world we'd thought up. But there's that new fence. So much for our election day.

We hope you're all OK and enjoying your farm (since you won't be enjoying the White House foliage).

Anonymous said...

Hey, this is Missy. Buffybelle took a turn for the worse and passed away so I am going to take over. So we're going to take your advice and get over it as soon as possible.

goatfarmer said...

That is bad news. Don't get over it too soon. It is ok not to get over it too soon.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, quickly realizing it will take time, time will heal the wound...hopefully. It's been a bad day.

goatfarmer said...

I know. I know all about it.