A Brief Meditation On Cows


So, I’m still recovering – slooowly – from a very depressed winter. It looks like my new medication works a little better than the previous tries. Time for an update.

    For most of last month, at my place spring was announced not by flowers, but by a roaming herd of Galloway cattle: complete with a few newborn calves. They had settled down in the field next to the cabin that is my home (oh yes I know, living in such a place I should be grateful and happy instead of being depressed, don’t you dare to tell me).

    Following the adage that grass is always greener at the other side of the fence, the visiting cows actually tried to eat my garden’s fringe too. Here is another one of my window shots:

Visiting Cows (1)

Looking at them, reflecting on them, at one point I thought it must be be truly depressing to be a cow. You just stand in a field all day long, braving sunshine and rain, munching and munching and munching. Grass, and then more grass, nothing but munching and munching. Wouldn’t it be a totally dull, monotonous existence?

    Then I wondered: can cows suffer from depression? I don’t really know. I’m not sure. Maybe an ailing one can. But my guess is that these visiting cows, doing what nature intends them to do, dull as that grazing did seem, were not depressed at all.

    My second thought was this: maybe to these cows themselves, all this endless grass-munching did not feel like dull and boring at all. This was what they fully focused on, and therefore it was full of details and nuance: no two tufts of grass looking and smelling exactly the same.

    Perhaps in their full concentration on their direct environment such munching cows are not mindless, but mindful!

    Could there be some kind of lesson in this for us? As usual, I leave the final conclusion to you.

Visiting Cows (2)

For myself, I concluded that my initial thoughts about the utter dullness of a cow’s existence had not been provoked by those cows themselves. Rather, this dullness idea may have been a whisper of the depression that still roamed within my own mind.

    I also concluded that I should stop thinking about those cows, and start looking at them. Trying to be a little less thoughtful, and a little more mindful.

Be a cow!

Cattle Call

Now if the utterly over-the-top yodeling kitschiness of the following song can briefly put a smile on your face, I will consider my job done for today.

    Here is Eddy Arnold with his 1955 hit Cattle Call (originally written in 1934 by Tex Owens).

Eddy Arnold – Cattle Call


1 Response to “A Brief Meditation On Cows”

  1. 1 gerard snels Apr 14, 2015 at 12:20

    Dear Henk. Remember the words of Camus about Sisyphus: “Chacun des grains de cette pierre, chaque éclat minéral de cette montagne pleine de nuit, à lui seul forme un monde. La lutte elle-meme vers les sommets suffit à remplir un coeur d’homme. Il faut imaginer Sisyphe heureux”. Greetings, Gerard

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