Thoughts: La Vache



In Hinduism the cow is considered a sacred animal, often seen as a caretaker or a maternal figure. Whenever I see a cow, I feel a sense of peace: something about their eyes and the way they stand. Recently when a friend visited me, we watched the movie, El Cuento Chino, in which a cow becomes a symbol of happiness and pain for the main characters.

Throughout our wanderings in New Orleans, walking, biking under tree canopies, visiting art galleries, and driving, we saw images of cows several times, that we regarded mostly as happy accidents. But they could also be seen as omens, slowly fading into fast-moving days in the middle of the southern heat. We both glanced at the image and remembered what it meant for us. The cow became our shared experience.

Now every time I see a cow, I think about that film and my friend’s visit to New Orleans. On a recent road trip, I felt a familiar sadness connected to driving, and the sudden acknowledgment, that I was an adult with so few road trips under her belt. One of my favorite songs was playing: “Primavera que no llega….” I looked out the passenger window at the green field and the cows grazing the land. A herd of them were spread out: brown, white, dotted ones. They were all there. All the cows you’d ever need. “Only the cow knows my sadness,” I thought, and it felt soothing to see them, to know this moment was sacred, even though I could explain it to no one. I wondered when I would be out here, on my own driving, fading into the clouds

*A spring that hasn’t arrived.