One Love

Like an ill-defined category, love defies all descriptions,

Yet, everyone describes it.  

Brotherly love,

Reserved for brothers.

 

Sisterly love,

Only for sisters.

 

Love for parents,

Special for fathers and mothers.

 

And romantic love,

For those we want to touch forever (and possess).

All of these loves and not special or separate,

Although we each have them in our own catalogs, albums and keepsakes.

 

For there is only one love.

One source of love.

A love indescribable.

Where we sit on our beach property and look out into it,

And realize we are nothing more than it as we enter.

 

An ocean of love. Where we are fully embraced. And connected.

The Angry Cows


As a small boy, probably five or six years old, I lived in a small English country village called Semington. Semington was a small hamlet situated on the River Avon’s tributary and crossed by the Kennet and Avon canal. A farming community, there was little industry there, just the cows, fields used for growing hay, and the usual smatterings of village life in rural England.

Our home was a small cottage situated between the canal and the river, separated by a large field typically populated by the Friesian cattle which inhabited it. When returning from school, I could sneak through a gap in the fencing which would let me triangulate my path at the bottom of our cottage’s garden. This route could save me a couple of minutes on my walk back from the bus stop.

Usually, this short cut was uneventful, but I was always cautious if the cattle were nearby, as they happened to be this day. I peered through the gap, and even though the herd’s leader seemed to me at least a hundred yards away, she appeared to be particularly interested in me that day.

I decided to take the short cut anyway, assuming the cattle would remain in place. A young boy does not always discern well. As I started to make my progress the herd leader looked hard towards me and started to get up a pace towards me. What was astonishing, even to this day, was all the herd seemed to move in unison, and before I knew what was happening, they were charging towards me.

Decisions had to be made, and quickly. Did I have enough time to make it to the fence at the bottom of our yard, or should I return to whence I came? The cattle, at least 50 in the herd were charging hard towards me.

I could not understand this; my neighbor, who was the herdsman for this group of hooligan cows, never seemed to have problems controlling them. I could not believe they were coming to trample me to death, but they were!

Now, in the middle of the field, I decided to return to safety; the gap in the fence as fast as I could travel. I could feel the sound of their feet on the ground behind me, and they were gaining on me. Heart racing and now terrified, I continued at a pace and finally made it to and through the gap in the fence to safety.

The cows were only 15 or so feet behind me when I made my escape, and I turned around to face my tormentors. They didn’t seem exhausted from their high-speed gallop but somewhat disappointed by their missing their mark.

My fear suddenly vanished and was immediately replaced by my first real encounter with anger. I remember screaming at the cattle at the top of my voice, from the safety of the fence, looking for the most malicious words I could conjure up. Funnily enough, I didn’t have any appropriate ones in my vocabulary at the time, so I just shouted “you are really bad cows,” “you are terrible animals.” It must have been quite a sight if someone was watching, which fortunately for me, they were not.

Today, as an adult, I sometimes go back to that day when I learned what it was to be totally angry. Angry with a situation which was of my own making. One where I had a choice to decide if there was a risk there, and it did. One where I took the chance anyway, just to see if I could make it across, and when I couldn’t, I blamed the cows for what could have been the end of me.

I am still unsure what I learned that day, but I realized that uncontrolled anger is a very dangerous response. Something visited me that day, something which I did not enjoy.

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The Field

“Do not make friends with one who gives way to anger, make no one quick-tempered a companion of yours,”

Proverbs 22-24

Oceanside

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Seems like the day is done once more.

Time for a seagull to reflect, or hope the surfer has a snack for me.

As others, who cannot swim, tread lightly on the wooden deck,

To reach out in a dry way to meet the sun and sea.

 

One more time.