Author: Bob Perks
It was time to break free.
I needed to run away and this seasonal change here in Pennsylvania,
offered the best place to go. It's time for the Bloomsburg Fair.
I don't know if you can call it running away since it is only an hour
away from my home. But once I cross through "Gate 5" and enter the fair
grounds, I cross over into another world. The loudspeaker offers
background music barely audible over the sounds of people talking, carnival
game hucksters and food venders vying for your attention.
I belong here. I don't know if I have it in my blood or not, but I
always wanted to have a small food stand and travel in my off season from
fair to fair selling goodies. Perhaps one day. It certainly isn't a
priority in my life. Perhaps it should be.
After I'm there awhile, I need to get away to a quiet spot on the fair
grounds. Most of the time I can find that any where the farm animals are
kept. They need the quiet. Milk production goes down in the dairy barns I
am told if there is too much ruckus. So I go there to find peace with the
cows, goats, horses, pigs and yes, the turkeys. You'd think being this
close to "Thanksgiving" they'd be a little on edge, but they are not.
It was in the dairy barn where I found my oasis this time. I so
admire the young folks who tend to farm animals. I think they have a
greater appreciation for life. They participate in it firsthand. I've
watched a young boy help bring a calf into the world and I have seen a
young girl walk her prize cow through the line of animals for sale, knowing
that her job is done and it's time for it to leave home. It must be
My favorite scene is to come across a young person lying in the hay
asleep among the cows that have settled down for a rest. There, with their
heads nestled in a small soft spot along side their favorite cow, I have
seen them in a much deserved sleep. Perhaps better at rest there than in
their own bed.
I had the pleasure of speaking with a young teenage farm girl at rest
"You look so comfortable," I said to her.
"Oh I am," she said. "Life makes it comfortable for me."
"You mean being a farm girl?"
"No, Life! That's the name of my cow," she said smiling as she
stroked the cows side.
"I thought they called cows Betsy and Elsie. Why did you call her Life?"
"I discovered life again here. It was the only sensible name that
came to mind," she said. "I had been raised in the big city and really
hated it. Then we moved to the country. Kinda running away from it all.
I think my parents called it a mid-life crisis," she said laughing.
"Boy, I can relate to that. I've been in one since birth," I said.
"It was on the farm that I learned to love life again. I was there
when Life was born. It was so exciting. My whole outlook on the world
changed. So I named her Life. Now, I can say I really love "Life," she
"How incredible. You know I write stories and I am always trying to
get people to embrace life. To wake up each day expecting the best from
it. But they all too often go to bed with so much bad stuff in their soul,
and on their mind, that they wake up miserable and expect it to only get
worse from there. All too often it does, just because that's all they
choose to see in that otherwise perfectly beautiful day," I told her.
"That's too bad. They need to see a cow born, a chicken hatch. I
guess they need to wake up early and hug Life!" she said laughing.
"When was the last time you hugged Life?" she asked me.
"I am sorry to say even I have had trouble doing that lately," I said.
"Come here!" she said.
Then standing up and stepping aside she said, "Go ahead... hug Life!"
I paused for a moment and dropping all thoughts of looking silly, I
did. I hugged a cow.