Monday, November 22, 2010

The Peace of Winter

Winter has always been the traditional time of peace. In olden times before the advent of modern warfare, cultures with seasonal weather, took time out from fighting during the winter months. It was just too hard on the troops ~ frigid temperatures and no food. It is poetic then, that for those with Toxic Injury, the winter months again, mean peace.

It is snowing. A lovely blanket of white begins to cover the ground. Scrubbing the air clean, dampening the strident sounds of the freeway, more than a mile away. To me, it heralds the return of freedom... While most of my neighbors are snuggled into their recliners, enjoying some relaxing time in front of the tube, I am roaming my domain. I take it back from the villains and brigands that forced it from my grasp during the more temperate months.  All threat of spraying is, at least for a while, abated...

Now, like ancient war machines, farm implements are silenced! Their grinding and roaring hearts which poured forth toxic fumes into the air, are stilled. They sit miserably hunched against the cold, comatose until spring.

And I, I am free! What to me is a little cold, a little damp? The stinging kiss of erstwhile snowflakes? Only the joy of life and land, welcoming me back.
I foray out, taking stock of cattle and sheep, I had not seen all summer. They too have been struck hard by the vagaries of pesticide drift. I have no recourse, no weapons to fight with. I cannot protect them, the law won't allow it. The invisible marauders sift across the land, and round the globe, unimpeded. Killing, maiming destroying. Now, the land, the animals and I rejoice. Blessed respite!

Many might suppose that winter is harsh against livestock. Not so. They are far more prepared to deal with it than we. Their rough warm coats repel the weather. With sufficient food, they are unconcered. My cows munch contentedly on field side shrub and bramble. Augmenting their generous breakfast of premium alfalfa. They rejoice in the suppression of the chemicals spewed forth during the agricultural season. They run and gambole, enjoying the snow. Niether rain, sleet nor wind, distresses them. They are more stalwart than mailmen.  And I, I wander among them, breathing their breath, listening to their lowing, checking for damage. Who needs supplements? Who needs extra care. This I can do, released from my prison. I get but 4 short months. I make the most of it.

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