My family and I made a blessed move to the Golan Heights two and half years ago. We live in a small agricultural community – just shy of 100 families, there is not a day that the magic of this place is lost on me. Especially at this time of year – when the wild flowers have lost patience for the “peek-a-boo” they’ve played all winter and turned into full blown exhibitionists. Spring has sprung in the Golan and I am hooked on its charm.
There is a quiet pulse and rhythm in this part of the country that suits my soul and calms my head in ways I didn’t know was possible for me. The words “G-d’s Land” come to mind.
That and rehab.
We live in a quiet, out-of the-way, low-stimulation place that feels like somewhere people should come when they need to pull themselves together.
There is so much about living here that fills and calms and aligns me. But there is one aspect of life here in the Golan that hovers on the periphery of each of my days –tugs at my soul and inspires me deeply.
It’s called “cows.”
Lots and lots of cows.
Our backyard is teeming with pasture fed, free range beef cattle. They are big and strong and beautiful, and look like the cows from Pharaoh’s good dream.
I am mesmerized by them.
To be fair, they don’t seem to care much for me. I do try to engage and connect with my bovine neighbors, I try to get some meaningful eye contact happening or gain some ground with a handful of fresh grass – but, no matter how I try, I always get the sense that the cows are judging me… and not in a favorable way. It’s not just the whole animal/human chasm, but our general approach to living is so different.
For starters, a cow is never busy doing anything but being a cow. Even while she’s parenting, she’s still just being a cow.
I am rarely just any one thing.
Free range cows rarely conduct their business with any sense of urgency. They are focused on their goals and unperturbed by deadlines, meal planning or time management. I, on the other hand, get really worked up about things that don’t actually matter.
Anxiety doesn’t seem to register on a cow’s radar. If there is a threat – they just move away. If there is a hill, they climb it. They don’t look back at the herd and kvetch about how hard it is – and they don’t ask for praise and acknowledgement when they scaled it. They just do it.
I have wasted hours of my life worrying and fussing about things over which I have zero control over. Cows seem to skip that step altogether.
I really want to be more like that.
Watching the cows that graze in our backyard encourages me to look at the parts of myself that could do with a little more presence, more authenticity and a deeper commitment to my purpose here in this world.
In short, the cows make me want to be a better person.
I want to hear from you. What have you drawn inspiration from lately?
What’s your holy cow?