Each day tumbles into the next without much demarcations. There is no more on-Mondays-I-do-this, and on-Tuesdays-I-go-here. Each day is generic. My weekly pill container tells me what day it is; my morning paper verifies. As I write, it is Sunday. No church. No Sunday brunch. We all miss the comings and goings of our lives.
Variety is the spice of life so I look around to see how my days can be seasoned to taste. I can choose what to cook, what to wear, what to read and with whom I virtually connect. Thanks to FaceTime, I can visit with my daughter and grandchildren and even play duets with Judy, my ukulele-playing friend. Another seasoning I can add to a blurred weekly routine is the route I take on my morning walks.
Each pre-dawn excursion gives me some variety. If I go southward, I pass several ponds where silhouettes of herons and egrets stand like statues at the water’s edge. To the north, my walk is more functional taking me to our community mail boxes. But I have come to favor a more northwest route that leads to a nearby farm. I first found this farm while walking in a thick fog. The mist lifted and there was George, a new friend.
George is a small brown cow.** We became fast friends when I first encountered him in the pasture that parallels a golf course path. Layers of blue-grey mist still slept on the ground. I turned down a cloudy path, not sure of where it might lead. When the fog cleared, something in the V-shadow, where the two fences met, caught my attention. Borrowing a line from Farmer Hoggett in the movie Babe, the cow and I considered each other. Held in his gaze, in his even countenance, I felt a steady calmness.
After several of these morning visits, I decided my small brown buddy needed a name. I thought of J. D. Salinger’s Holden Caulfield or Harper Lee’s Atticus Finch and even, Luke Skywalker, but I settled on George Washington. During this time of social distancing, TV is a good outlet. We found the HISTORY channel’s docudrama on George Washington to be very enlightening and coincidently, a neighbor loaned me his book titled, George Washington’s Secret Six, The Spy Ring That Save the Revolution. There is little doubt that Washington was the man of the hour. Leading an impossible war against the British military might with an outnumbered, ragtag, underfed, underpaid and undisciplined army, Washington was the quintessential symbol of composure, stability and intelligence while under enormous stress. In our current war against an unseen yet mighty foe, the rockets’ red glares are mostly in our heads. Each day our unsure world is bomb shelled with frightening news. We fear for the lives of family and friends, as well as our own. Our lives are turned upside down wondering who and what to trust and then I see George, my bovine friend, sure and steady. He has become my symbol of quiet, yet steadfast composure. Something we all need.
It is becoming clear I am not the only one who looks to George for inspiration. In conversations with fellow walkers, 6-10 feet apart, we say hello and share our favorite paths. Several have pointed out their love of the pastural scene. Then Judy, my fellow uke-player, likewise spoke of walking by the farm, feeling its serenity and being very intrigued by a particular small brown cow who has an aura of calm. An initial wave of possessive jealousy overcame me, thinking that’s MY George, but then I shouted a bit more magnanimously,
“That’s our George!”
(Naming George** Using the generic definition of “cow” without gender, I felt free to name my (our) “cow” George.)
Added to my circle of blessings this Sunday are:
Pastures of Cows and Especially George
Everyday Choices (Make mine Dove Dark Chocolate!)
My Ukulele and Ukulele Friends
FaceTime with My Daughter and Grandchildren
Funny Jokes Coming My Way Making Me Laugh
The HISTORY Channel