Eighth Day of Christmas

Eight Maids a Milking: a Gift of Peace through Cooperation

Eight maids a milking: the gift of peace through co-operation in preparing for the feast.

In this series of items the Twelve Days of Christmas traditional song is used to find inspiration for some Christmas Musings.

Woman and child milking cow
Milking: Focussed on the Task
photo credit: life’s too short

Only One Day!

Christmas Is only one day, yet the amount of work the average parents have to undertake to service the average family’s food needs at this period is astonishing and exhausting. Peacefulness would be the last word you would associate with shopping preparing and cooking: “Panic,” would seem more the word to use.

Watching the busy, frantic shoppers reminded me of a flock of starlings squawking and flapping against the branches of the tree, stripping the fruit. You would think the shops were going to be closed for weeks not just one day. Do you notice that some people seem to drive even more rudely barging out in front of other cars so impatient what is the rush? And at home are the parents struggling to get all the work done against the backdrop of the children squabbling: the teenagers leaving their parents to clear up. The turkey which will not defrost while the vegetables cook to a mush or burn and children eating all the sweets no longer hungry for the meal would induce a sense of rising panic or frustration.

Focused on the Task

The idea of the maids in the milking parlour alongside each other but separately focused on the task and the quietness, I imagine there would be – steam rising from the cows who would be chewing contentedly. The maids would be leaning into their task and breathing focused there would be not outcry, no argument but each person would work in their own time. It is an image of co-operation.

Perhaps we could find this sense of a slowed pace and peace in our homes?

If we expected less but involved the family members more? It might help to plan a Christmas Eve ritual where some of the work is shared and the task itself is rewarding. Like the 8 maids a milking in their quiet row, the preparations could bring unity and contentment: a gift of peace and plenty.

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This was written by Rose and you can contact her here.