Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Cow, Long run 9/18/11

It is wooly bear season. You can hardly run down the street without almost squishing one of those little guys making its way to who knows where. On my long run the other day, I counted dozens of the red and black caterpillars. I also almost ran into a deer. And there was a black stallion, tossing its mane and looking more Hollywood than Humboldt County. But my heart yearns for cows.

Cows always stop what they are doing to look at you when you run by. Sometimes ALL of the cows in the field will look at you. They look vaguely interested and deeply wise. They can be scary in their intensity. One year when running the Foggy Bottom Milk Run, they were snorting and leaping and mooing alarmingly. Or is that alarmingly mooing?

I turned 42 today. I ran early this morning before work. I was nearly stung by a bee and almost mauled by a dog named "Pumpkin." But the run was otherwise perfect and it kept me going during my 12 hours of doctoring. I came home late to my pretty children (no, they really are pretty), who had made me perfect presents for my birthday. I must say, I feel blessed beyond belief.

And my husband of 19 years, anniversary just celebrated (with a house full of rhinovirus and a lot of drama surrounding algebra homework), gave me a bunch of beautiful roses. My son wants to wear one in his hair when he rides his bike to school tomorrow. I do feel blessed.

In about 40 some days, we will make up for the algebraic "romance" with a trip to NYC. Our first solo trip (i.e. without the offspring) for about 15 years. I will run my 26.2, then we will explore the great city and enjoy time with good friends. Blessed.

But I stray from the cows. There really is nothing quite like the deep green fields of Humboldt County, with the fog hanging on the hillsides and hovering above the grass. Sometimes the cows look like they are hovering as well, with legs cloaked by fog, invisible. Nearby an egret makes a stark contrast, dressed in white, and standing so still that I often wonder if it is a Zen master or just really, really bored. I almost always talk to the cows as I pass. They remind me of my teenagers at times, as they acknowledge my presence but at the same time seem to be considering whether I am from the same planet as them or not.

Cows. Not exactly pretty, but definitely pretty consistent. Dedicated eaters. Oddly midwestern, despite their coastal home. Calm and steady except when they are leaping, snorting and mooing. Deadpan. Lovers of all things dairy. Except for the decidedly sedentary lifestyle of the typical cow, we have a lot in common. They judge me for my obsession with running, but I love them anyway.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes I wonder when riding by a field occupied by cows and they give me the " look," is it wonder? Or pity?