I’ve been too busy lately. Though I’m not sure there is anything I can or should do about it. My busy-ness is a result of my creativity having chugged what feels like eight thousand energy drinks without my permission. The words to a new poem will wake me around dawn. I’ll write stories and essays until 8pm, and right before I start snoring I’ll still be texting myself notes about how to end that one song I’ve been trying to write the lyrics to for the past three years. I’d say I’m working too much, but is it work if it’s a force beyond my control? And is it work if I absolutely love it?
What I know is that balance is crucial to my wellness. And while art fuels me, nothing balances me more than being outside, grounding myself with the actual ground. This has been the case since I was a child roaming the forest behind my home. “Thorns were my very first heroes,” I wrote in a poem once, “as they did nothing with their lives but protect what was sweet.”
This weekend I needed some sweet balance more than ever as I was recording a short film for a new poem. If anyone who works in the film industry has ever had a full night’s sleep in their entire lives–I’ve not seen it happen. I have an ex who worked in the field and she’d be in LA one night, rural Louisiana the next, and the following week she’d be pitching a tent in Alaska, giving herself hourly pep talks about how she wasn’t going to be devoured by a bear in the night.
After several twelve hour days of filming (minus the tent and bears) I headed to the pastures near my home for some outside time. On my way there I was stopped by something I had never seen before—a cow being born. I watched the little angel’s eyes open to this brand new world, standing up and falling down over and over until finally the prancing began. “I’m alive! I’m alive! I’m alive!” said the sweetpea. Yep, I’m crying again just thinking about it.
There’s a lot of religious history around the phrase “holy cow” but here’s what holy cow means to me—cows have best friends, a fact I’ve shared before, but how could I not repeat it here? Like me, they often have more than one bestie, and get very anxious when separated from their nearest and dearest. Cows love the water and aren’t one bit shy about skinny dipping. They rarely sleep more than four hours a day, which means they’re up all night star gazing, making wishes just like us. A cow’s natural lifespan is twenty years, but some have lived into their late 40s. If a cow knows you and trusts you, they adore your affection and especially love being scratched behind the ears. The first thing I thought when the cow was born was, “Wow! This little one is really bull-legged.” And then I realized that’s where the phrase bull-legged comes from. And then I looked up how to spell bull-legged and learned the term is actually bowlegged, and has nothing to do with bovine. Thank you, Cow, for keeping me humble!
I also want to mention that I watched the mama cow eat the placenta. But let’s see if I can say that in a cuter way—how about I watched the mama eat the wrapping paper her gift came in. That’s also weird, but I shouldn’t knock something until I try it.
Below is a little video of the cows. If you can’t get outside today I hope you find this sweetness to be the next best grounding thing. Oh, and I edited out the placenta-eating for all those who read my newsletters during their lunch breaks. You’re welcome.
Love, Andrea 🖤