The cow came back this morning. Yesterday our landlady took her across the road to spend some time with the herd – and specifically the bull – there. This morning I stepped out the front door to find a giant turd just off the porch. My immediate reaction was, ‘How did the cow get there yesterday?’ Then it slowly clicked that she didn’t. So I guessed that Shanti – the cow that stayed behind – had gotten out. They were calling to one another so much after they were split yesterday that it seemed plausible. I went to check if she was still inside the fence, dodged a couple more fresh turds on the way, and there was Nandi sitting comfortably on this side of it with a look that said, ‘What’s the problem?’
Nandi is a big girl. When I first saw her I had to double check to see that she wasn’t actually a bull. I milked cows when I lived at Dharmananda, and my recollection is that it was relatively easy getting them up and moving them. Nandi was not agreeable to either. The gate was open in front of her, Shanti was just on the other side of it, and it seemed to me that Nandi had returned to be with her. But I guess fenceless freedom and a seat in the fresh grass were worth savouring for a bit.
But when that’s accompanied by a human pestering you it probably becomes a less attractive proposition. It seemed to do the trick anyway – eventually.
On Independence Day Nandi opted to return to interdependence. Even though she didn’t want to go through the gate, she chose to return to a place just beside it. Could it be that in celebrating independence that we are missing the point? Is it possible that independence is overrated?