When I was a little kid my grandpa used to throw me in the truck beside him and take me out in the fields to check the cows. I have lots of fun memories of bouncing through the fields with him while he taught me to whistle, or told me stories, or as I listened to him curse the damn gate.
He would tell me all the time to stay away from the cows, that they were dangerous, could charge for no reason, and were something to be feared (and in addition to the smaller Herefords, back then they also had Chianina cows which were monstrously huge). So, I ended up terrified of cows. Grandpa died when I was 7, and he never had the chance to reprogram me so my fear remains.
Yesterday they moved the cows and calves into the field behind my house. It’s a quarter section that stretches down the hill and across the creek. But even with all that space, the entire herd seems to find the need to huddle up in the corner between the barn and my garden all the while mooing their heads off.
This morning there was one rogue cow who had escaped and was in the grass right beside my yard. We still aren’t sure where she wound up, but the assumption is that she found her way back through the fence.
This afternoon I looked out my kitchen window and there were two cows in that same space. I called my cousin for back up because….. scared ….. I was sure if I tried to herd them back myself they’d for sure run the other direction. She said she’d be over to help. Of course within minutes there were four more naughty cows that joined the first two. They were making eyes at my garden, and I decided that my anger at the possibility that they would ruin my garden outweighed my fear of the cows.
I walked out and slowly and calmly guided all six back towards the fence. For a brief moment they were all doing exactly what I was asking. I and this huge hurrah moment. I was overcoming my fears. I was doing it!!!! Four of them jumped back into their field and then two bad asses turned around, ran through the horses’ electric fence and ran through the yard. I had to go retie the fence and contain the horses (and yell at the cows). My help arrived and she so competently and easily brought those cows back where they belonged. I learn a lot from her.
Since life is all about the little moments, I have decided that today’s moment of happiness was that small, little moment of hurrah when I was facing my fear and feeling powerful.