Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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Mornings In Green Acres

Mornings here the air now bites your skin with sharpish teeth not in the mood to chew just a week ago. The air was soft then, barely caressing your skin with the delicateness of a favorite t-shirt you've had for so long it's holding together not so much with fabric but the strength of your hopeful belief in its immortality.

A mythical quality permeates our village each morning now as summer shakes hands with fall. Thick fog rolls up the street like a scene from a Stephen King novel. Magical or ominous depending on the mood in which you view it.

Traveling through the village in the early hours is like standing near a mist machine employed by fancy restaurants in warmer climes. Tiny droplets of dew swirl in the air, glinting in the rising sunlight, splashing your skin, dampening your hair, clothes and all the plants and flowers standing at attention in whatever weak sunlight filters down through the inevitable morning fog.

Farm animals rustle to life, the low guttural hum of cows housed in barns outlining the main thoroughfare, the soft whinny of horses quietly clopping onto pastures for a bite of grass and that archetype of country living; the rooster squawking out his classic morning greeting.

While the moon hovered above darkened fields of sweet corn the spiders busily weaved webs that now glisten with dew. Pearl necklaces, nature's jewelry, a dazzling display shimmering in the watery morning light, giving Charlotte and her world-famous webs a run for the money.

If I manage to heed the demand of my 6am alarm and get my Babble writing done before the kids wake up I try to take Henry for a walk around the neighborhood after dropping Violet at the Y. The sun usually takes its time burning off the morning fog, it often lingers well into the day so the walk always feels magical. As if Henry and I and whatever animals we happen upon are the only living creatures on Earth. Like this.

That lone cow up there. She's a mama cow that lives on a nearby farm, just down this dirt road.

She has captured my heart, I think.

The first time Henry and I happened by she was resting under a tree while her babies grazed near the fence where we stopped to watch. She was immediately highly suspicious of our motivations and so begrudgingly heaved her tired body up to a standing position and hustled our way in much the same way I exasperatedly bear down on my own baby should he wander toward possible danger - and he seemingly has a radar for it. Then she stood like a statue, a bovine goddess mama stoically staring me down, guarding her babies as every good mother should. Don't mess with my babies, she eyeballed at me.

I tried to telegraph back to her that I totally understood and was only interested in watching her adorable babes and could I interest her in a bite of grass for her trouble? So far, she has resisted the temptation even after I threw in a few pitiful attempts at mooing. Maybe next time I can assuage her suspicion with a tasty carrot or apple...

I am often acutely aware of how happy I am to live here. It is a thought or an emotion that occurs to me on a near daily basis. The joy of living where I want to be, finally. To abide in the great wide open. To stroll with my kids through a tiny, quaint village settled in the early 1800s that we call home. To not be bothered to negotiate sidewalk space with a hustling, bustling, faceless crowd or to not be assaulted by an endless stretch of identical suburban homes. To say hello to an assortment of animal friends each mystical morning. To breathe in fresh air and watch thunderstorms whip the valley into an exuberant frenzy from the comfortable safety of our big, old porch. It's a contentment unlike any I've known, ever.

This is where I want to be.

Reader Comments (20)

Beautiful post, Monica. Living in the country is wonderful...and I daresay that bringing kids up in the country, where they can run around in the mud and dirt all day, is the way to go. Country kids rock! And I love how content you happy! Love, love this post...

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHanni

I love this post too Monica...and although I don't want to rain on anyone's parade.....that appears to be a MALE cow, aka a steer. I admit that I could be completely wrong, maybe the picture with the weeds underneath of it is very deceiving. The video also appears to a protrusion of male parts.

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I think THAT mama cow has a penis.

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaty E

Y'all are right, of course. I just assumed it was female because it was so cautious about the babies nearby... Rather sexist of me, I guess. Serge pointed out to me that the horse I pet every day is also male even though I call it "her" and "pretty girl". I should look at the parts more, I suppose.

August 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterMonica

In retrospect, though, I'm not sure how I missed that particular part while looking at these photos.

August 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterMonica

Still a beautiful,post. Dicks ruin EVERYTHING!

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaty E

@Kate E - Oh my God, best comment of the year.

August 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterMonica

Of course, I just posted the status "Hooray for Tuesdays" on Facebook. Someone kindly informed me that it was Wednesday. Did I mention that I have two sons and a husband so I'm the only girl in my very own real live nightly sausage party? Maybe why I'm getting my days mixed up and can tell if it's a boy on first glance.Damnit.

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaty E

Best comments stream (or is that "string") ever!

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNina

Get a bag of baby carrots. The small ones. Throw one out to "him/her". Then throw a couple a little closer to you....until he is right up to the fence eating out of your hand. That's how I trained the cow up the street.

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCassie

Lovely post, great pictures and certainly seems an idyllic place... thanks for sharing it with us!

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZoe Alexander

Beautiful post and gorgeous photos. Your words are woven as beautifully as that pearl necklace. :)

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commentereelleroy

Gorgeous, fluid writing and stunning photos. I mean, who doesn't love a transgendered cow? It's 2012, people!

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChrissy

Sheer perfection. This is one of those posts that has me spellbound from the first sentence. Beautiful prose, gorgeous fotos, an ethereal dreamlike feeling wafted over and through me. Really powerful read. So pleased with your contentment. Thank you for this.

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterniobe19

This post is gorgeous. It makes me want to flee the city immediately and live in the country, where I would (of course) be constantly calm, contented, and cool. Beautiful pictures, too!

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteramericanabroad

hey monica, the cow pictures and storyline and comments, etc reminded me of a wonderful old children's book. you gotta, gotta, gotta check it out from your library for henry & violet. it's called "belinda the cow" -i think? i hope? by ____ Allen. it is just so awesome and hilarious and sweet. and i think you will all love it.

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjenp

These photos are fantastic. You have real talent.

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbec

Apples. Bring that fella some apples! He has a field full of grass but he'll be your friend for life if you bring him an apple or two.

p.s. Loved everything about this post AND you gotta love a cow with a penis! ;-)

August 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkimtisha

Beautiful! I grew up in a very rural area - all I had to do was walk past the borders of my family's home and I could spend hours wandering in the woods. Work (that's the killer - needing a job!) has brought me to a big city, where I long for the serene places I knew growing up.

August 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpostmormongirl

What a beautiful post! Except that, yep, it's a steer, and in one of the photos, one of them appears to be suckling...another dude. >grimace<

August 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSR

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