looking at baby animals therapy

For the dVerse Haibun Monday prompt, “solstice

On Sunday I walked down to my neighbour’s place to see if her overdue new calf had been born. I dawdled and delayed, scared to look in case it was still-born. But there it was, a few hours old, already fluffy and staggering around uncertainly. And I cried and cried when I saw it. Great sobs bringing up the darkness of the last months, washed out in a flood of tears (and, inevitably, quite a lot of snot). God knows what the cow thought of me, sobbing hysterically next to her. But she looked me in the eye and lowed loudly. I don’t think it was sympathy, she just wanted this mad human away from her calf.
Yesterday I planted two apricot trees, with a bag of manure each. The winter sun, even on the second-shortest of days, was warm in the garden and lifted sweet tendrils of scent from the horse and cow manure. Sweet scent of manure, sharp scent of calendulas, a comforting twist of woodsmoke from the chimney. Sitting on the ground, I day-dreamed of apricots – sun warmed, juicy and tangy-sweet, the colour of winter sunsets.
Today, my neighbour left a bunch of flowers on the gate for me. On this shortest day of the year, I have flowers on my kitchen table, the hope of summer apricots, and a fluffy calf I can visit later when the sun comes out. And if it doesn’t come out, perhaps there will be rain for my apricot trees.

let’s start the new year
with the solstice, so that each
new day is brighter

cow and calf


Filed under poem

30 responses to “looking at baby animals therapy

  1. Omg this is so heartwarming! 💜

  2. Written concisely but with so much detail! It sounds amazing to see that calf.

  3. Beautiful prose piece. Thanks.

  4. Oh, Kate. I almost welled up reading this. I so understand your sobs. What a lovely way to let it all out. I am so glad the light is coming back for you.

    • Thanks Worms. ❤ I hadn't realised how much was bottled up until I lost it looking at that calf. I'd been thinking about talking to one of the campus counsellors, but I think baby animal therapy has done the trick.

      • I’m sorry you’ve been through such a tough time. I don’t know the details but one of your poems gave some clues. I just know that I lost a friend earlier this year and I never know what’s going to set me off. When that bat fell off the powerlines, dead, that really got to me quite deeply.

        • I lost a friend to cancer last year, and that was hard. But simple in a way – grief, regret. When an 18 year old kills himself it’s so much more complex. The guilt of those left wondering if we missed something, if we could have done something, is terrible. As a teacher it really shakes you.

  5. Lovely scene and romantic philosophising of life around you..

  6. Lovely haibun – great description of a scene – with all senses going . And the hope in the haiku. A lovely read.

  7. A beautifully evocative witness of one of life’s tender moments. Brava!

  8. suns on the move. sowing is goodness

  9. “G-d knows what the cow thought of me.”
    This is an interesting perspective. Humorous.
    Overall, I appreciate the detail-oriented descriptions
    of rustic life in the country.

  10. Sounds like wonderful therapy, Kate. ❤

  11. A beautiful haibun specially this part:I day-dreamed of apricots – sun warmed, juicy and tangy-sweet, the colour of winter sunsets. I enjoyed this read tonight!

  12. Rob Kistner

    What a wonderful haibun Kate. Touching and uplifting. Thanks for sharing it! 🙂

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