At my local natural foods store yesterday (we are so lucky to have a 'local' one), picking up scraps for the pigs (and very lucky for that too), our friends there asked if we wanted a big bag of just-barely expired, but still perfectly fine heavy cream. Of course! And later that afternoon, with friends visiting, rainstorms rolling through, and nothing else pressing on our time, we had a little butter making, shaking and tasting session in the kitchen. I used the food processor, because it's so lickety split fast like that, and my arms get enough of a workout what with all the five-gallon buckets of water we haul and all that fast and furious knitting (ahem). But whenever I make butter, there are always a few or more in the crowd who want to give it a go by hand, shaking and shaking in a mason jar until the cream turns into butter. (It really is as simple as that. And oh goodness, I loved just reading that old post for a whole myriad of reasons.)
Of course, I cannot spend so much time thinking about butter without thinking about cows. The cow where this particular cream came from. And, most of all, the cow we planned on having in our pasture some day. The cow that isn't here yet. I never would have guessed that three years into this little homestead of ours, we'd still be without that cow we talked so much about and assumed would join us immediately. Several, actually, have been lined up, only to fall through for a host of reasons. Of course, if we really truly were wanting/needing one, we could find one to bring home tomorrow. We sometimes fall a little bit on the overly ambitious side, you might have gathered. Diving into things is sometimes how we do it best. But when it comes to this cow we know will someday be here? We walk slowly, wanting to make the right decision for right now. We ask ourselves - Do we have a tractor? Do we have all the fencing in place? Do we have a shelter built? Most importantly, Do we have a spare hour or two in our day for care and milking? And the answer, for now, is a resounding Not Yet.
Not yet. Someday. Someday maybe even soon. But not right now. I feel content in being decidedly not ready. And honestly, that feels quite liberating, that decision to hold steady with all that right now is. About a cow, about my studio above the barn not yet in progress, about so many things in life. It's not my greatest ability - patience with these kinds of things - but something I work on, and something I try to help my kids work on too. Because that mix of patience and faith means we can slow down and look around at what's right here and not miss a single beat.
Right now, we are grateful to live in a state where fresh, raw milk is readily - and legally - available. Right now, we can rest and breathe into a season without learning an entirely new skill. Right now, we can enjoy the fullness of our days as they are. Right now (well, yesterday), we have neighbors who gift us their surplus cream. Right now, we can spend an afternoon in my kitchen with a dear childhood friend and her son. Right now, my babies pass the mason jar back and forth to each other, singing, shaking and dancing. Right now, the radishes we grow in our garden are ready for eating, making just the right snack for tasting that butter. Right now is so good.