I released Charlotte from her physical body yesterday. Living in relationship with animals is complex. There are so many variables to consider. She may have lived through the winter. Now comes the definition of living. Her physical body may have stayed upright, hay going in and poo coming out. But Charlotte is a milk cow and really living for her means getting fat, being pregnant, and growing a healthy calf to nurse after it’s born. None of those milk cow activities were possible for her anymore. She was damaged, wounded, less than. And so brave, she still mooed for her 4 month old calf and she had a good appetite. But she was limping and the wound was stinky and I believe she was uncomfortable. She was not living her best milk cow self so she had to go. Allowing her to continue on means less hay for the cows that are thriving. It means all that fuel and time bouncing around on the tractor was for a creature that is not able to give back her milk cow share. Charlotte couldn’t carry her end of a milk cow relationship but she can still contribute to the farm. That’s where the decision lies. Her physical body is immensely valuable to the farm as compost that will support gardens and trees just a few short years from now. Her spirit will remain here on the farm, celebrating and encouraging the beauty that thrives here. Maybe she will return as a new calf someday.
Cutting Charlotte’s throat did not destroy her. It was what started her next phase of form, just like when she was conceived from stardust in her mother’s womb, and again when she took her first breath of air. Physical beings are continuously transforming from spirit into physical, and back again. Charlotte used to drink milk from her mama’s udder, then she stopped drinking milk and ate grass. Now she will become the soil that feeds the grass.
So it was a big deal for me to release Charlotte with my own hand. The decision that it needed to be done was relatively easy, especially with winter coming on, the wound, and her limping. To keep the balance on the farm, she had to be released. Then I had to come up with an actual step by step plan. Where was she going to be, what knife was to be used, exactly where do I cut her? I was so scared. It felt like a huge responsibility to release an 800 lb animal from her body. Not something I could do half way and then call for back up. It needed to be done, done right. There is an element of danger too, when killing something that big. I was pretty scared.
The whole process went really well, Praise the Lord. I called upon my God and held big, strong faith out in front of me. I chose to know that to keep the balance, it was the right thing to do, and that Charlotte wanted to go. I let myself be Lovingly guided by the Universe that is bigger than me and that I willingly participate in. She came up to the milk house easy and I got a halter on her no problem. She was really calm. Because my decision was clear and solid, I knew that Charlotte already understood what was happening. We had agreed and we were doing it together. I mean she’s 800 lbs with horns, if she didn’t want to walk across the yard to the red barn, she certainly would not do it. But she did. Little me hanging on to a skinny rope, led her into the barn and tied her up, just as sweet as anything.
Charlotte stood in the barn while I finished my morning chores. Then I put on some yuck clothes, sharpened the knives, and went out to be with her. She was very calm. She let me secure her head uncomfortably tight and close to the wall with a halter and a rope around her horns. I was constantly thanking God that she was so calm. I know for sure that Charlotte has never been tied up to the wall in the red barn. This was all new and strange and she participated in her gentle cow way. Then I felt her neck and tried to figure out exactly where the knife would go in and then what direction it would travel. It was very important to me that I cut the big vessels and the air all at once, quickly and cleanly. I owed that much to Charlotte, to honor her by doing this exactly right. Part of me screams that someone qualified should be doing this important work. Another part of me agrees. Then I look around and realize, as I have so many times living on a wild farm, I am qualified. I am the one to keep the balance. God put me here and I love it and I am qualified because I know how to listen, I know how to be led. That’s how I had a baby in the front bedroom of this house. I listened. I was led.
Feeling Charlotte’s neck made it clear. I stood back and connected to spirit and then cut her. The knife in my hand released her. It was quick and clean, one cut, first time, done. Well done.
I will always feel appreciation for Charlotte. I needed to do this.