It was on this exact day, 4 long years ago, that a conversation with a cow stopped me dead in my tracks. I know, it sounds totally crazy, but follow me here. I was on my way from LeRoy, IL, where I was caring for my dying dad to Lumberton, NJ to visit the oldest of my 7 step-children and his beautiful girlfriend for Easter at his Air Force post.
On the way there, I stopped halfway at a hidden oasis in the mountains of West Virginia for a couple days of sheer respite. During those 48 hours, my soul found so much rest, I didn’t even want to leave. I’m telling you…colors like I had never seen, crisp air in my lungs, beauty and history at every turn…I was already figuring out how to make this my new forever home.
At home, my life was just unraveling before my eyes and I couldn’t seem to stop it. I had stepped back from my work to take care of my ailing father, my marriage was falling apart, my church had abandoned me, my family was in conflict and I felt safe nowhere. I had no idea what to do with my hands…have you ever felt like that?
I just wanted to stay in this place and rest my spirit, but God clearly had other plans.
I’d found a house I was interested in, talked to some folks about a job and planned on returning asap. As I drove out of this little piece of “almost heaven,” I stopped at a picturesque country church for some more pictures.
When suddenly, I felt (as if laser beams were burrowing right into my back) like I was being watched. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I turned around in sheer defense…only to find that I was being stared down by this big ole cow from across the street.
As if a moth to a flame, I was so drawn to her. She was majestic, strong, perfectly deep brown eyes (that never blinked, by the way) and a soul that I swear was speaking right to my own. As if receiving a stern, maternal warning, “you can’t stay here”, her spirit whispered. “Go home, you have unfinished work to do.”
It was with tears in my eyes, I knew…the freaking cow was right.
I still giggle when I think about that moment, but it was SO real to me. I was completely affected by the wisdom of this creature speaking into my life. I had to learn who she was. Why had the cosmos used a COW of all things to give me my next step?
Turns out, in Egyptian folklore, the cow was considered the goddess of (you’re never gonna believe this)…JOY!
No joke ya’ll, I about fell over. Let me tell you what else I learned about cows:
They signify female power, prestige and new beginnings.
They are kind, friendly and humble, work hard and are generous with their lives.
They represent a good life, fertility, health, prosperity and abundance, community and sharing.
They provide sustenance and provision, while remaining calm and grounded.
They remind us to nourish ourselves (physically, mentally and emotionally), appreciate life’s basic treasures and NOT to ignore the ordinary moments that make life extraordinary.
They teach us the power of gratitude and appreciation of sacrifice.
They reach out to those who are struggling, are powered by the moon and stand firm in the storm.
THEY ARE MY KIND OF PEOPLE!
I will never forget that moment, or that cow, or how she encouraged me to live out my purpose helping women love themselves and others, live in community, seek out financial peace and live a life of JOY! Keep your eyes open for those extraordinary moments…you just never know what you might learn.