lessons learned: waiting on the cows

There is only one moment in time when it is essential to awaken.  That moment is now.  ~The Buddha (c.563-483BCE)

When I go walking, my preference is to head out to a country road rather than a park or neighborhood.  It is more

peaceful for my spirit and affords me an opportunity to reconnect with nature while I exercise.  Sometimes, after visiting my parents, I will stop at a road that meanders through green fields and farm land.   The place where I park my car is across from a meadow with cows.  Having had a fascination with these animals when I was little, I always stop to say hello.

the cows in the field that day

One particular day, I was short on time and really wanted to get a quick walk in before picking up my daughter.  I stopped, however, to greet the friendly beasts in their pasture.   One cow came over to size me up but then took off in haste when I moved my arm to touch its nose.  I waited patiently—my hand extended while I sat in the tall green grass.

I looked at my watch—if I don’t leave now, I’ll never get a good walk in before I have to leave.  Yet, there was something about that moment in time that drew me to just sitting there—just being.  Frequently, I am in a rush or am multitasking to get everything done.  Rarely do I sit and focus on one thing or better yet, focus on nothing at all.  Waiting on the cows that day just gave me time to “awaken” in many ways—it allowed me to appreciate the quiet of the countryside, to take in the warm sun on an atypical spring-like day, to delight in the simplicity of nature and creation, and to still my heart and soul while doing something just for me.

After about 10 minutes, I noticed more cows ambling along toward me.  Before I knew it, there must have been 30 creatures crowded around the fence—they seemed to be sizing me up as I watched them through the barbed wire.  My hand still extended, I slowly moved it closer to the cow right in front of me.  He jerked back a bit then craned his neck forward and kissed me on my hand.  The others watched cautiously, but slowly, a few others came over and did the same.

No, I didn’t get my walk in that day, but it didn’t really matter.   Something as simple as waiting on the cows offered me a gift I would have missed had I rushed on with my afternoon.  I had the opportunity to find balance and peace, and that was enough.

5 thoughts on “lessons learned: waiting on the cows

  1. Since I was a child I have been fascinated by cows as well! One of my favorite times in life was living alone in a little farmhouse out in the country of West Virginia, surrounded by cows. I’d wake up listening to their morning moo-songs outside my window. I just love those big beautiful bodies with soulful eyes and soft mouths, content just as they are. In my next life, if that exists, I’d much like to come back as a cow. 🙂

    1. I know what you mean—when I was young, we passed by a cow field on the way to a family restaurant we’d go to one Friday a month. Mom and Dad would let me get out of the car, climb up on the fence, and just stand there as long as I wanted to. There was something about looking in their eyes and sensing their spirit that put me at peace.

  2. Awesome experience … and what a great lesson on enjoying the moment. We have cattle that will come up to the fence to “chat”. When I walk I always stop to chat with the horses down the road. So much to be said for being still and observing what’s around you.

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