Outside my window is a cow pasture. It's a huge tract of land, hundreds
of acres, with a river and rolling hills, green and lush in winter,
brown and dry in summer. There's another pasture outside my front door
with horses - no cows. The difference between horses and cows is horses
will come if you have carrots. After you've given them carrots, they'll
leave. Cows, on the other hand, will come just to visit. They don't
require an offering. Cows will come to visit and stay. And if you moo
at cows, they'll moo back at you.
Every evening like clockwork it seemed, the entire herd of cows crossed
that expanse of pasture, coming over to my place to visit.
I've been through some personal challenges recently - gut wrenching
changes, the kinds of changes which first make you afraid you'll die,
and then make you even more afraid you won't. During those times, when
the cows came to visit I experienced a kind of peace, an
otherworldly sense of tranquility, a feeling of being
taken care of which, when I inquired into it, made me realize
why cows are considered to be sacred in
Then one day in the middle of winter, the cows stopped coming. Perhaps
they went away. Perhaps it got too cold. Perhaps the rancher provided
feed for them in their stalls so they didn't have to venture out into
the pasture to graze. Who knows why they stopped coming. But stopped
coming they did. And sometimes I felt chillingly alone without them
there in the evenings.
As the winter wore on, I resolved my personal issues. I took on that no
one is responsible for the quality of my own experience except me. I
saw I could have it be any way I like. I noticed I could come up with
of my personal circumstances, and that none of them was the
none of them was the correctinterpretation.
I could choose any
I liked, and that could be the one I would hold as the
truth ... at least until I came up with anotherinterpretation
to try on.
Finally, months later, I had a breakthrough. I realized my life is my
life no matter how it turned out. My life wasn't anything that turned
out different than the way this turned out. My life wasn't
the life which I would get to once all this stuff was
handled or ended. I got that this is my life, and I loved it.
Suddenly all the predicaments became opportunities, all the challenges
became play, all the difficulties became occasions to
all the hopelessness became moments out of time to invent new
If I didn't weigh one hundred and eighty pounds, I would have walked at
least six inches above the ground from then on. Out of nothing, I was
living powerfully, living a life I love. And that's how it was one
night when I arrived home late, idly humming a tune I'd been listening
to on the radio, and walked through the gate to my cottage.
I gasped out loud when I saw them. The cows had come home.
By any stretch of the imagination it was a remarkable, heart stoppingly
beautiful sight. The warm summer night was bathed by the light of a
huge bright golden full
The entire herd had trekked across two hundred acres of pasture to
congregate right at the door of my
Fifty or so cows, bulls, and calves were just sitting there keeping
guard over my place, over my space.
It was perfect. Nothing could have been more perfect in fact. No longer
concerned about looking good, I spoke to the cows. I said:
"I'm so glad to see you again. Thank You for coming
back.". They all looked at me through big, dark eyes, intently staring
at the human being who spoke to them.
Then an amazing thing happened. The snow white albino calf, the
sweetest little dogie that ever git along, looked
me straight in the eye and moo-ed at me. So I moo-ed back at him.
At first there was silence. Then, almost imperceptibly, he moo-ed back.
Then they all started mooing. One at a time, in time, out of time, but
soon all of them were mooing at me and I was mooing back at them and
they were mooing back at me and I was mooing at them.
I was totally exhilarated! I paused ... savoring the joy. Then in
English - not in Moo - I said: "I got it, you guys, and I love you too.
Really I love you.". They stopped mooing immediately and looked
at me in velvet silence.
Later that night just before I went to
I looked out at the pasture again. The entire herd was asleep just
outside my window, still bathed by the light of the huge bright golden