Friday, December 13, 2013

The Elegance of Cows

You know those times when the magic of life seems lost in the reality of life?

When the snow is just dirty and grey, and the ice seems slicker than usual, and you keep finding Christmas tree ornaments under the table, and the wrapping paper keeps ripping?

All you want is to take a deep breath and try to slow it all down, but there is a baby inside you that has gotten confused, taken up lodging in your lungs instead of your uterus.  You have no scientific evidence for this, but you strongly suspect that it is true.

All that is left is to lay down for a minute and close your eyes, and try to think quieting, peaceful thoughts.  But those thoughts get lost in the high quality surround sound of little voices shouting, "Stop it!"
"That's mine!"
"I had it!"
"That hurts!"
"Momma! Pooping!" 
mixed to the percussion of little fingers poking at your eyes, and little hands batting at your tummy.

The whole thing swirls around you faster and faster until you are dizzy and breathless with the unending chaos of the reality of life.

Can I tell you a secret that I have learned?

At the very moment when I think that surely this time I will sink beneath the wildness of it all, throwing my hands up in the air and joining in the dance of the Lord of the Flies, I find a moment of perfect stillness, perfect serenity.

I had just fought the battle of coats and shoes, hats and mittens, times three, and we were on our way to pick up Hallie from school.  That dirty city snow covered the ground and road and I was not really in the mood to be sitting outside Hallie's school for the next hour.

We turned the corner, now in the part of our drive that is pretty desolate, nothing but fields as far as the eye can see.  Across that vast expanse of snowy white landscape, I found my moment.  That moment that relaxes every muscle, releases every strain, and provides a week's worth of deep breaths and quiet eyes resting all in an instant.

Did you know that cows are beautiful? 

Picture it.

A parade of all black cows.
More than 30 of them.
Daintily picking their way,
each step a cautious motion forward,
across the snow and ice of that pristine white field.
They walked in single file.
No hurry.  No rush.  No pushing or shoving or squealing or squawking.
No groaning or moaning or whining or whimpering.

And all it takes now is to look out over that field as we drive by and I feel peaceful again.  The cows are still on the other side of the field, and every time we see them Hanna yells, "Mommy, your cows! Your pretty black cows!"

Maybe I'm a simple person, but that's my secret.


  1. You definitely know the secret, and I would love to see those cows.