Sunday, September 25, 2016

What I Wish I Didn’t Know

It was probably not a good idea to put my writing table in front of the big window in the new front room. At the time I told myself that looking out over the valley would be a source of inspiration for me. Now I wonder if I am doing more “mental writing,” (also known as just gazing out the window), than actual writing, although I have been assured by famous writers like Elizabeth Gilbert that time spent gazing is a form of creativity. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
This morning there is a lady pushing her little one in a stroller down the dirt road that boarders the corn field directly opposite my window. The baby is pointing upwards to the crows that are swooping up and down over the corn, cawing for all they are worth. Beyond the field the hills are just barely starting to show a bit of color on the tips of the leaves. It is an idyllic picture, that is, until … until I see the cow carrier hauling cows from the farm up the hill to wherever, perhaps to slaughter, perhaps to be sold as breeding cows. I wish I didn’t know that. I wish I didn’t know the indignities, pain and fear that cows, or any farm factory animal for that matter, goes through just so we can eat ice cream and burgers. I wish I didn’t know that, but I do.
I turn my attention to my computer and pull up Facebook so I can post my weekday “Flower Bear’s Thought For The Day.” (see link below). Someone has shared a video with me of a new country music video called, “Forever Country.” It is an awesome video. I love country music and every one of my favorite singers and groups are in this video. I listen to it, watch the faces of the people singing, and wish that I had grown up in the country, in a small town, knowing everybody’s name, and everybody’s kid, and having them all know me; where you can sing about “Hunting, and Fishing, And Loving Every Day” … except that I don’t believe in hunting and fishing anymore. I believe that every sentient, feeling creature has as much right to live as I do. I wish I didn’t know that, but I do.
Deciding to become a vegan wasn’t an easy choice, but once I started knowing things that I wish I didn’t know, I had to follow my heart. When I actually moved to the country and took up gardening, and spent so much time in communion with all of the life that moved around me, I couldn’t go back to my old way of thinking and living. That’s something I did know, but that doesn’t make it any easier to be a huge square peg in a round hole so huge that there is no bottom, no end in sight. It doesn’t make it any easier to be where the life of an animal is judged by its usefulness. If it ain’t useful here, it has no worth as a living, feeling thing created by God just like we are.
Here’s what else I do know: I know that you can love a corn field and the sound of crows and still call yourself a country girl. I know that you can watch in awe as hundreds of geese take flight overhead, and gratefully watch bunnies munch on the lettuce in your garden because you have enough to share, and not want to have said bunny for dinner, and still be a country girl. I know that you can share your broken up pieces of bread and seeds with the birds and chipmunks, and delight in the arrival of a new blue jay to the neighborhood without wanting to trap, kill or drive them off, and still be a country girl. I know that you can send love to the woodchuck down the hill and pray he doesn’t get run over, and still be a country girl. I know that you can still love the country without destroying the lives that live there with you.
So maybe it’s a good idea that my writing table is in front of the window, and that along with seeing the things I like to see, I am reminded as well of the things I wish I didn’t know because it reinforces what I do know for sure, that being a country girl is less about the hunting and fishing, and more about loving every day.
And so it is.
(Here is the link for Flower Bear’s Thought For The Day: