To be privileged

We stared at our watches in the middle of the night. Not once, but at least 5 times. We felt like kids waiting for Santa Claus to arrive.
We decided to drive to the woods this time instead of walking nearby mum’s house. We’d been there before, last summer, but decided not to go there anymore, since it was either way too busy (we would go a tat later, but it was still very early), or it was kind of useless to be there as soon as the sun started rising later in the morning.
Driving itself hasn’t been a pleasure for over 16 months now due to various reasons, one of them being the car’s MOT that’s suspended and the battery that isn’t charging anymore. This means using the jump leads every time we start the car and it means not using the motorway for both safety (what if the car shuts down whilst driving at high speed and we need to get out of it to start it?) and to avoid the rozzer’s cameras.
But today we felt like we had to take the risk and inconvenience of driving our car. We would still avoid the motorway, but we were constantly super aware of every car passing by (what if it’s the rozzers…?). It was 4.45 AM, on a Sunday morning, so normally people driving this early were returning home. Drunk.
Upon arriving I looked into the sky, eager to find but a glimpse of the sun coming up anytime soon. I realised I was being unrealistically hopeful, since it was only 5AM and sun wouldn’t rise before 7:30AM, so it would be pitch black until 6:45AM. It was nice to see a few more stars than in our big city, though.
We switched on our head torches and started walking. Without torches, there was no way we would be able to walk outside of our city. Our Fannar wouldn’t even have enjoyed it if it was completely dark around him.
Soon we trespassed the sign that says you’re not allowed to walk in the woods until dawn. This wasnt the first time we were much earlier. My man reminded me not too long ago that most animals that are awake during nighttime and twilight, used to live by day. The increasing diminishing nature that’s still sort of thriving in my country and humans taking over every bit of it with their many screaming children, their shouting and their smelly perfum-y bodies, have ensured that all those animals could only live peacefully in the very early hours.
Much like ourselves….
We’ve been trying to avoid seeing humans when we were out and about for many years now. The only difference prior to the last 16 months was that we had a good, legit car (and cheaper fuel costs!). That way, we could drive quite a distance every day, away from our city over the motorway, and walk much later in the morning without bumping into too many other humans.
We decided we are one of the animals who literally can’t go outside otherwise, and continued our walk. Besides, we’ve OFTEN encountered broken wine bottles and condoms at places where this sign was placed as well, so as long as drunk, loud faced, music listening humans are ruining “nature” (I’m sorry but my country simply doesn’t have real nature), we sure as hell can silently and swiftly walk there.
In the woods I told my man I feel like I have tunnel vision. My autism/hsp/migraine make me very sensitive to not only smells, but to light as well. The light of my head torch was very bright directly in front of me, but it was very dark outside of that beam. This strong contrast made my head feel a bit weird and the blinking light of Fannar’s collar didn’t feel good either. I had to really force myself to focus on enjoying being outside, because my mind started to dwell off into negative thoughts: “I want to be outside during the day, just like everyone else. Why do we even do this…? We could just simply NOT go, what’s the point when it’s very hard to see…?” I looked at Fannar and he was the single but most important answer to why we were doing this. But today there was another reason why it was extra special and thus very worth it.
I glanced at my watch and then up to the sky. “It’s a bit less dark!!” That morning we’d gotten up at 4 AM instead of 4:30 AM. But… it was 5 AM summertime. Wintertime allowed us to get up a bit later, but still get up earlier than previous if that makes sense..? Do you already know why we were so excited?
We were gonna see the sun RISE!!
It had been quite some time now when we last started our days together with her and guess what: seeing her rise was something to look forward to back then, even though this always was nearby mum’s house. We never ever see the sun set because of the large building right behind mum’s garden, so the last few weeks we had only had two hours of sun per day in the garden to enjoy before she would disappear behind the four story high flat at 3:30PM.
We decided to walk in the very outer skirts of the place where we were walking in order to have a bigger chance to really see some daylight.
When we were about three quarters into the walk at about 6K, we saw many pairs of eyes lighing up in the beam of our head torches. Human’s eyes don’t reflect and these pairs of eyes were too far apart from each other anyway. Deer…? Then we quickly found out the animals were standing in a barn.
As we got near them, we quickly grabbed Fannar. These cows were confined, but their heads were able to push away an iron thing which allowed them to eat the hay that was dumbed right next to the barn all around it. Their necks were full of mucus. Feces. Their bellies and paws were much worse…. So I didn’t trust their wellbeing – their health. We lit the whole barn with our head torches. Mum’s and babies. These were beef cows instead of dairy cows. We’d never seen a barn like this before irl, but then, we had never been to a barn. We knew what they could look like, but seeing it with our very own eyes…….
I took a few pictures to collect some evidence and talked to the cows. I was gutted that I didn’t have anything yummy with me for them.
Upon arriving at our car with 7K in, we noticed the day had really began. A few meters back it was still a bit dark between te trees, but close to the road at the very end of our walk (or so we thought), the sun had finally risen. I got a bit disapointed that we somehow still managed the walk in the dark only, so we got out our phones to stare at the map to see if we could still walk a bit farther. This was the case to after driving a few hundred meters and parking the car there, we quickly jumped out and ran into the fields. With our head torches OFF for the first time since august.
No barn. Cows roaming around freely. Well, as free as possibly can within the invisible hands of another farmer. Clean cows, not covered in their own excrements. A different kind of cow. White cows who seem to have longer hair and an abundance of real growing food all around them.
I couldn’t help but compare our lives to those of the cows back in the barn: locked up, scared, others deciding for us when we can go out and what and when we eat, our room always messy because it’s a small place etc.

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