Check in: Take time.
I measure time differently now.
Here I measure minutes by quarts of milk I coax from teats with swollen hands.
Hours are measured by towers of stainless steel pots and pails I wash one by one.
Days are measured by fragrant cheeses expressing whey and begging for salt.
Weeks by use-by dates.
Months by new muscles and calluses.
I can’t believe I’ve been here for nearly 2 months. I feel like I’ve been here forever and for no time at all. It’s strange how things seem to move quickly and slowly at the same time here. There’s always something to do, but there’s time to breathe too. Is this what it feels like when your work is something you love? I do some of my best thinking when I’m alone in the milk room with my hands on teats. And when I’m heaving a pitchfork full of manure and hay, I do no thinking at all, just delight in the movement and in knowing that at the end of the day my body will be tired for the right reasons.
Trade curses everything it touches, according to Thoreau. But was that thought applied to the commodity of labor? How can the trade of labor be a curse if it’s the only work that jars my body and mind awake daily?