Monday, September 6, 2010

Milking Cows - A Metaphor for Life?

     I don't know why this memory came to me recently but I feel that I have to write about it.   As a youngster I grew up milking cows by hand as they were standing in the barnyard.    Recently I vividly recall how some of the cows would swish a manure laden tail up against the side of my head during the milking.   A decidedly unpleasant event.   At other times the cows would be restless and difficult to keep standing stiill.  Often resulting in a dumped pail of milk and me falling off the milk stool.   Or the worst of all was the cow picking up a foot and standing on the toe of my shoe.   Pure agony as a 1000 pound animal twists its hoof across your mashed toes.   My big toe joint still shows the effects of those injuries.

     However, at times the cows were placid, cooperative and a pleasure to work with.   They all had names and in spite of their erratic behaviors we had an affection for them.   There was always some sadness when they outlived their usefulness and were sent off to slaughter.

     So how is milking cows a metaphor for life?  In life we suffer setbacks and annoyances.  The tail swish in the face or the step on our toes.   Likewise we often go through stages of placid existence with very satisfying relationships among family and friends.    We can enjoy our existence, usefulness and peace.   And we can cope with our grief of loss when the life journey is over for a loved one knowing they have lived a productive  and  meaningful life.   Those good folks that deliver the milk of human kindness.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ohhhh well that makes me rethink milking a cow but, i still want to do it.