Broken cows, flower pots and the impermanence of things.

I hope you had a very nice Valentine's Day. I got to spend a quiet day in the snow with my kids and Mr. Fox. We went for a hike in the forest and we were lucky to find snow where the kids were able to play and have a snowball fight. Snow is kinda rare around here in the desert, so we have fun any time we come across some around here.



Right before V-Day I had a cow-tastrophe of epic proportions here at home. We had a cow cookie jar that we got as the first things me and Mr. Fox bought together as husband and wife. Money was tight when we started so we had to save money for a few weeks to be able to afford it, and it has tagged along with us to three houses, kept our candy stash, money to pay for bills and groceries, spare keys and who knows what else.

If you needed candy, you could always count on her to provide, and she was affectionately called "the cow". But it was not just the cow. it was THE cow, a cherished family heirloom and symbol of house Danita. Her whimsical face and comically big bottom was always providing us comfort and familiarity. Wherever the cow was, it was home.

Until she broke by accident. She was decapitated on a kitchen accident while I was making a cheesecake to celebrate V-Day and the mixer fell on top of her head. Needless to say, I was devastated, she was broken and I knew that even if I tried to repair it she will never be the same. I even saw it as a bad omen and called my husband right away just to be sure he was alright and broke him the news. Everyone in the house mourned the cow.

And this accident got everyone talking in the kitchen table about the memories we had about the cow, how she was always full of candy, we told our kids the story of how she came to live with us, how we had to save to buy her and they in turn us their memories of how she always had candy and chewing gum inside and how she always had something to share.

And she got me thinking about the impermanence of things, on how we enjoyed her and how we kept her with us. We loved her but never kept her protected from everything, she was chipped from a couple of places and already worn out on the places where you touched the lid and the legs to steady her, and that let us enjoy her and everything she had to share for us. If we had kept her inside a display case she would have been pristine for a long time and probably safe from everything, but she would not have given us the memory and comfort of knowing her whimsical presence would tell us that we were home. She had a purpose, and life within the house.

And when she broke, it was because it was time to go. Everything that has a beginning has an end and we must accept it, and enjoy it while it exists. She reminded me to enjoy the moment and not to worry about the future, to take risks like she did every time we took of her lid and put her back, and to be careful to know where I am in danger like she was all the time, but no to live fearful of it. Just accept it as another part of life and when it's time to let go of things, be sad because they are no longer with us but also knowing that their absence create space for new things and experience to come.
There's a space waiting to be filled when I find the perfect cookie jar to take her place, and that will be also filled with candy and warm memories.
 

And then, just like that, the cow had yet another thing to teach me. Mr. Fox came home with flowers for Valentine's Day, but this time he chose to give me a miniature rose plant instead of the usual long stem roses he likes bringing for me. And right then I knew that the cow was going to go trough a transformation. She now lives on my garden as a flower pot where the mini roses will thrive and smell nice.

Now she is a great reminder of how things are forever changing, but remain the same at the same time, just like ourselves. We transform and move on as we change, we get older and take risks, but our essence and memories remain. And this was a revelation for me, and has triggered a change within me and my art. I feel it coming, and soon I will get started.


5 comments

  • This story made me cry, but I loved it so much!! The transformations in life give us experiences that shape us into who we are and how we handle things. Such a great positive outlook on treasuring THE cow while accepting outcomes out of our control, yet protecting ourselves while not alienating ourselves from LIVING. ♥♥♥

    Rhonda
  • Beautiful post Danita! :) You are teaching your children well! They will learn what’s really important! <3

    Sue Allemand
  • My mom always told me, “Don’t cry over spilled milk.” The older I get the more I see that it applies to so many things in life, loved and lost. I broke a special teapot too and I love the idea of putting a plant in it! Thanks for sharing and your very thoughtful post, a reminder to all of us to use the good stuff! I have my grandmother’s cookie jar with a cow jumping over the moon. But I’m trying to preserve it in a protected corner. Lol ;)

    Linda
  • Oh, yay, I’m so glad you found a re-purpose for THE cow. I immediately thought to memorialize your cherished heirloom forever in mosaic form, but a flower pot, how perfect! You could still use the remaining pieces in a mosaic – the face and lid (perhaps with some other precious objects included) – too precious not to keep. I like your positive view of not living in fear, accepting the loss, and being open to new experience. Thankfully, the memories still remain.

    Stephanie Gentry
  • That is a wonderful lesson to pass along…thought provoking and a constant reminder as my wounderful mother taught me “anything you can see with your eyes is subject to change”! Very true so learn to value the substance not the form…!

    Gerri

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published