First Milking



The shrill call of the alarm splits through the cold farmhouse. A lone incandescent flicks on in the bedroom, holding back the early morning darkness and the fending off the temptation of a warm bed. His heavy feet pace across bare wooden floors with deep bellows. The echoes become tinny and brisk as his solid feet strike the linoleum of the kitchen.

A fluorescent flickers awake after a short night’s rest and, with the precision of an tirelessly rehearsed act, a staccato begins:

Metal clanks. Water rushes. Metal clanks. Hinges open. Glass clinks. Hinges shut. Drawer opens. Silverware rattles. Drawer shuts. Lid pops. One scoop. Two scoops. Three scoop. Four scoop. Five scoops. Six scoops. Lid closes. Metal clanks. Beep.

Coffee is on.

He hustles back to bedroom and heavy clothes rustle as he piles them on.


The coffee is done.

The bedroom light clicks off. Coffee fills a thermos. The kitchen light clicks off.

The house is dark.

The back door creaks and opens; a frigid rush fills the house. An old soul with youthful energy, Geordie steps into the darkness: his hundred head of dairy cows need their day’s first milking.

Inspired by Geordie and Emery Hard who own and operate an organic dairy farm in Cabot, Vermont. A young, married couple, they live every day with an incredible purpose, constant work ethic, and tireless energy.

Photo: A Cabot Farm, Barrett Nichols 

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