A miracle happened this morning. A miracle that I have been praying for, for a long time. It didn’t come the way I expected it to, which I think is the norm when we talk about miracles. Although this is a similar story to last years post called “Out of the Ashes”, I got a very different meaning from it!
To start, I have cows. And a group of my cows live on a ranch that I don’t work on. A very good friend of mine cares for them. The other day she called me to tell me that I had a new calf that wouldn’t eat and was dying. She had tried everything in the book to save it, and now she wondered if I wanted to have a turn at it. That evening my daughter and I drove over to the ranch to assess the calf. It seemed to me that it was in fact displaying all the signs of dying. It was emaciated and unwilling to eat despite all the human efforts that were put into it. Regardless of all this I still saw a spark in its eye. A small will to live. I left feeling troubled and unsure what to do. I counseled with a fellow rancher for some advice and decided to leave it in God’s hand overnight. That night I woke up many times and prayed that the calf would lean one-way or the other. Death or life. I wanted it to decide. The next morning my daughter and I got up. I had an ominous feeling about the situation. I have been in this situation before and it did not end well. I grabbed my rifle incase the calf was in misery and needed to be put down. Grace gave me a sad look and we headed for the ranch. When I got there, the calf looked the same. Sickly but had a will to live. I packed him up and brought him home. I wasn’t sure what to do next so I tried to give him a bottle one more time. Miraculously he ate it to the last drop. Never in the 5 days of its life did he do that. He was always tubed his meals because of his resistance to eating. I couldn’t believe it. I then consulted the vet and got a little more advice and kept him eating from a bottle with what I milked from his mother throughout the day. Antibiotics and pain medication helped as well. The next morning I decided to get him back together with his mother. I was hesitant because I wasn’t sure he was strong enough. I remembered how gentle she was yesterday to milk. That gave me some hope. My friend and I walked them up the alley to the chute and hoped for the best. He was weak but anxious to keep up with his mother who was very glad to see him back. After getting his mom in the head catch and helping him get in position he immediately started eating! We were so relieved. And I think his mother was too. He ate for a long time and the scene was one of the most rewarding. His mother was patient and kind. Not over protective that we could not get near but nurturing and still for him to find the right place to stand to get his meal.
The thing that I’m learning about this animal business is that we never really do have any control over the outcome. We can aid and assist but ultimately its up to them. Its that way with people too, but I think since we have language we think that talking to someone till you are blue in the face is grounds to make a difference in their way of life. I am learning that there are times to talk and then there are times to listen. I had to listen to that calf. I had to trust that it would tell me what it wanted. I had to watch for the signs and messages. I felt very guilty about going home that night and leaving that calf to starve, so I thought. Not interfering and doing everything I could to make it live. I don’t know why I did that. Maybe I’m getting a little better at letting go. As I go through the whole scenario in my mind I recognize that I didn’t do anything to makethat calf live. I had to let it decide. When it did, I had to be there to help when help was needed. Believe me this was not all premeditated and I’m not sitting around practicing Buddhist cattle husbandry. It just happened this way and now I can look back and see the lesson. A very important lesson indeed! I have people I love in my life that suffer. They are unwilling or unable to see the love and help that is available for them, like that calf was unwilling to accept what was going to make it live. I want them to show up a certain way for me. I want them to be whole and healed and in their heart. I want that for myself as well. Often times I take the road of talking them to death, giving my sage wisdom (oof) and advice. I think I know how I want to see them and I’m learning that that is a detriment to not only me, but to their choice of how they live their life. I believe we choose all sorts of paths, not to conform to society but to bring the most learning to our life to reach a higher place of consciousness. Interfering with that is not only disrespectful but can be damaging. Dumping the God like stance and allowing each person to live the way they were meant to is ok. Praying for guidance and asking for direction and acting on those answers is far more respectful and caring than jumping in and rescuing with out a second thought. Just as the calf was resistant and unwilling to take the meal that would keep him alive, sometimes we or our loved ones are unwilling to reach for what is perceived as a greater good. And there is nothing wrong with that. We all experience what we need to experience. As long as there is a loving presence waiting on the other side, like the mother cow, we can have faith that the outcome will be what is best for that individual.
This lesson has been a long time coming for me. And I can’t express how grateful and humbled I am to have received it. My intention from here on out is to try to love and respect each person’s path no matter its course. And in turn that creates a space where I can love my own path. Through all the twist and turns, and perceived judgments of bad choices or downfalls, its what I needed at the time, because it got me to here. And “here” is a beautiful place.
I can’t say I will do this perfectly. Can’t say I will even do this 20% of the time. But I will try. And I’m sure that each day I will get closer to getting it right! Don’t give up on those that you love and pray for. But most importantly don’t give up on your self. Around every corner is a new beginning, a new way of life and a new chance to really fall in love with this life that we have been given. Fall in love with who you are and what you have to offer, not to the world but what you have to offer yourself.
The message to me is clear: With love, give yourself the time and space to decide and carry hope for the best outcome without expectation.