In the silence is the waiting. It lingers between the raindrops. It hovers between the barks of the dog. The waiting rides the rush of the wind, through the bawling of weaning calves and under the surge of the running Whippoorwill Creek. There is a certain quality, a shape, a color and a taste if you can find it. The waiting wakes me in the night and won't let me sleep -'wake up, wake up' it whispers urgently.
I follow it to the farm, as it sits between my hand and the steering wheel of my warming truck. It leads me past my nearly weaned calves, gamboling through the new gate my wife built. The waiting sits next to me, it's elbow in my ribs as I converse with our buck, recently exiled from the goat herd because of the waiting. He senses it next to me and tips his horns at it, threatening it away, but the waiting persists, not swayed by his displeasure. It simply is and he cannot change it any more than I can. In the goat pen, it is a bloated thing, each of the does squeezing their pregnant frames passed it, around it, through it. They look at me with uncomprehending, miserable patience. The waiting is there with them, day after day, oppressive. Each morning the waiting is harder, less durable, more brittle. We all feel it, the tension of it, wearing us down. We lower our heads and move forward, through this purgatory.
And then it happens...
With one wet plop and one small cry, the waiting is shattered - only to be followed by a torrent of these small cries as doe after doe pushes, bleats and brings forth a tidal wave of the cutest plague on the planet. Goat kids.
The waiting is over. And then we also get no sleep as kid after kid arrives, regardless of the time of day. But man, they cute.