The Joy of Cows
It’s been an interesting week. I just got home from dropping my oldest son off at college. He is now a sophomore. Thursday I took my youngest son up to his new home in Virginia. He is now a freshman in college. So here I am out on my back porch watching cows eat grass. My wife is laying down in the bedroom. We are tired, a little empty, a little numb, and a lotta sad.
It’s a weird sad. I’m happy for my children and the adventures their lives await but at the same time I am sad that the chapters I’ve had with them, here in my home have ended. And it’s also weird because I have this nagging “now what are you going to do” question bouncing around in my head.
I guess I practice what I know to do.
Breathe, be thankful, and let the sadness run its course.
I’ve been breathing long and slow lately with a lot of sighs mixed in. The sighs help to let go of some of the mounting tension laced with memories and uncertainties. Right now, focusing on my breath just seems like the best thing I can do - physically.
And I’m thankful. I’ve been blessed to be a part of the lives of two wonderful young men. They are my children, but they are also so much more than that. They’re my best friends, and in many ways, they are my heroes. Just knowing them makes me want to be a better person. Not because I want to set an example for them, but because they have set one for me. The way they approach life is inspiring to me - I’ve learned so much from them.
I know this sadness will run its course and as it leaves it will invite a wonderful newness I don’t even know about. Hopefully I’ll get to see the wonderful things my boys end up doing. Maybe I’ll get to explore a whole new relationship with my wife, maybe we can start dating again. Maybe I’ll even write a new book or three, or come up with another 200 ways to roll around on the floor.
Anyway, for right now, I’m sitting here watching the cows eat grass. I find the peacefulness of it very comforting. It seems to say, “Everything is going to be okay.”
And it is.
Everything around us will change. It’s inevitable. The weather, our thoughts, our bodies, our kids, our jobs, the economy, the borders of nations - it all changes. Change is a constant. It’s also a guide. It teaches us to be flexible, to be humble, to be patient, and to be kind.
Many of our problems come because we resist change, we fight it. When all along, we are supposed to flow with it and let it guide us from season to season, moment to moment, breath to breath. Again, change is our guide, our teacher.
What is the lesson it teaches?
Acceptance of what is, right now. All the while knowing that this, too, shall pass because Change will always run its course. It will always flow on. If we learn how to ride the flow, we can have a life of immense joy. If we constantly resist the flow, we will have a life of immense suffering.
Some how, the cows are telling me to choose joy. I think we all should.
Let us Moooove on, my friends.