Life Lessons In The Country by Nicola G. Karesh
On my way to town everyday, I pass a couple of farms, mostly with cows. Just seeing the animals in a wide open area makes me feel happy. I usually wave to the cows and say something silly, really just feeding the joy in my heart.
Sometimes I will wonder about a cow who is off by itself away from the rest. I make a joke and say that the cow is in time-out and I laugh at the absurdity of it all.
On occasion, the farmer has dumped a huge pile of dirt and it’s fun to see the cows climb on top of the mound. Fun to see them deliberately standing in the mud when it rains. Every once in awhile, I’ll see a cow bounding along (a bouncy kind of running) and I smile, because it is unusual to see them do anything other than standing still.
Today, I rounded the familiar corner by a smaller field that has three cows. Seeing them is like part of my day. It fits. it belongs. “Hi cow, cow, cow!” and I am happy that they have shelter, water, space and food. I love when the farmer adds new things. They have a neat cascading water fountain and a new feeding trough attached to the side of their barn.
I was stunned to come around the bend and see the hanging carcass of the now dead cows, right in the middle of the field by the road. The unexpectedness of it really threw me and I heard myself saying over and over, “Oh my God, they killed the cows.” I noticed two men in front of the stretched out flesh and as I drove on, I burst into tears. My children were in the back, probably silenced by my crying than by anything they saw.
In retrospect, I remember my son offering something that sounded quite practical about why the cow was killed. My daughter became quite indignant and huffily said, “Oh, you have no sympathy for anything!” In between my quiet bawling, I felt amused by this.
At one point on the way to our destination, I felt like turning the car around to go yell and curse the men. I didn’t though.
What am I really enraged about? What is it about this scene that upsets me?
I have no problem with people eating meat and I know somehow or another, the animal dies to provide us with that food. Maybe it’s the way that the killing was carried out that I am bothered by.
Immediately, I can feel all of the beliefs that I have in place about what’s supposed to happen.
Does anything really change for the cow if it gets slaughtered behind closed doors?
Could the farmer no longer afford to keep the cows?
I don’t want to drive home that way, but that is the only road to my house.
I think I’ll notice something else for awhile. Find something to appreciate in the world and give it my attention.
The day is truly gorgeous. A nice, cool breeze blowing. Beautiful trees everywhere. A clear, blue sky with not a cloud in sight. Way off in the distance, I can see a tiny, little plane streaking across the sky. It is leaving a trail of white in its wake as it makes its way across the heavens. It is really moving fast and is about to disappear behind a canopy of tall hemlock and pine trees.
Life just is. Accept it on its own terms without any wrangling and fussing. Breathe into whatever is there and let go of the need to fight or resist reality. What is just is.
I feel a sense of compassion, understanding and love for my own sensitive nature. I feel a sense of peace and acceptance for life in its many forms. It all comes together to make one unique creation. What is simply is.
On the way home, I pass the farm. Only one cow. I feel a stab of pain. I reassure myself that everything is alright.
Like the changing winds, I move in a different direction to contemplate something else.
I reach home. Two of my dogs and one cat come to greet the car. There is a feeling of lingering sadness blended into the comfort of seeing my pets.
The cat sits on top of the car while I write. He peers over the top into the open door. My angel pup lies by the door, periodically looking up at me with her warm, sherry brown eyes.
Do they know I need a little extra loving?
You know, you can bring your own loving attention to your wounds. You can hold a space for the hurt one to fall back into. You can appreciate with kindness and tenderness all that is felt. Resist nothing. Feel it all.
My soul feels ripped apart and I want to break down and bawl. Every ache, every hurt, every unhealed pain rises up to overflow.
My dog, Poppy, follows me down to the creek. So much variation in the way the water moves. Rapid, streaming over the mossy rocks. Gentle, rippling to form a swimming hole. To the side, a fairly still, shallow body of water that trickles into the fast moving creek.
Every aspect of creation feeds the whole, even the parts that I didn’t want to witness today.
Life has value. It is to be cherished and honoured. Life is not a casual thing to be tossed to the side when it is no longer needed. Even in our dying, we respect what has been.
I watch my dog exploring every bit of the creek. She avoids nothing. There is learning in every nook and cranny.
My heart feels much lighter. Feels like it is time to go inside. Mother Nature has served me well as always. Thank you for your sweet grace.
Nicola G. Karesh, copyright © 2010 – All rights reserved.