I landed by fast boat on Gili Air, Indonesia in early October, waved down a donkey and cart, as one would hail a cab, hopped into the back and gave my kidneys a work out as we bumped down the unpaved road to my accommodations. My spacious room is a private cabin on the sunset side of the Island, but without all the usual character I’m used to seeing in Bali; thatch roofs, paintings, sculptures and beautifully carved furniture. This building is made from the cheaper and easier to maintain concrete, with a large bed and plain wooden furniture. There is nothing exciting, pretty or inspired about the room I am staying in, until you open the door.
I have stayed in several breath taking places around the world, and yet I don’t remember there ever being a heifer strait outside my door, even in India.
The view directly in front of me is nothing short of farm land that needs some love. October seems to be a fairly dry month, so everything, including the people, has a dusty glow. However, there is something primitive, ancient and earthy about having a combination of dirt, brownish green grass and “hut” all together in one area. The picture I’m forming in my head, is enhanced by the fact that the owners are locals and look like they are strait off the Island with their big smiles and ‘help - yourself - to - anything’ attitudes. The female owner cooks, cleans, looks after the hotel bookings, and washes the laundry. I have nick named her super woman; she laughs when I call her that. She’s got a motherly vibe and I like that. She gave me a pin to hold together my harem pants, because the elastic around the waist is nonexistent. I found this out in an unfortunate circumstance; as I stood up on the fast boat to stretch, my pants did not join me. Thank gawd for the breeze which quickly made me aware of the “no pants on my ass” situation. The couple behind me got a show; by her facial expression she was not impressed, by his – I’d say he was.
I took a half an hour to chill on my deck and get settled in. I don’t have a long time on these Islands, maybe a week, so I’m using this time to chill, visit friends, yoga, meditate and dive. Oh yeah and eat – I’m super hungry. I’ve dedicated myself to a tantric meditation practice again and my metabolism has shot through the roof – fire up your Shakti (creative energy) and your body fires up too. At least the food here is yummy and cheap.
The deck is spacious and I am able with perfect clarity to watch the cow’s ever y move; how she eats, walks, shits and pees. You might be wondering, “Why the fuck are you obsessing over a cow?” And I would answer by saying that I think she’s fascinating. She’s a small pretty cow with big brown eyes – I’m sure she looks very similar to all the other cows, but for me she’s special. She’s so relaxed and chill. Her calf is huddled in a corner and yet she seems fairly certain that when the little guy needs her, he will come to her or she will find her way to him. This cow has no control issues. She seems to be acutely aware of when to eat, how much to eat and gives herself time to rest. She is not running around to find food or to care take her child. There is an air of “fuck it” that I see in her and completely relate to.
I am learning a lot from this cow. I like her blissful face; she is beauty times a million. She lives in open air and eats the grass at her hooves. She is not exactly free, but not caged either - freedom with responsibility. She seems to fully understand her dharma (life’s purpose), instead of pushing for something that will never be.
This cow is giving me a lot to think about in how I want to maneuver on my journey. The calmness, relaxation, no hurry, no worry, chill the fuck out mind set is something beautiful to witness. Her cares seem to be in the immediate and the incessant need to be constantly looking forward with ego; striving for more, more, more… is nonexistent. She has mastered letting go of micro managing the outcomes, and is moving and grooving in the “flow.”
If you’re like me and live in the world of goal setting and lists - you might think on first glance that she’s become complacent. But watching her, I know better. What I see is a cow who has decided to simply be; no more fighting against the natural rhythm of what is set out for her. We all have our own path to walk; a unique drum beat, an inner calling that will give us much peace when we say “fuck it” and just decide to walk through that door.
The lessons this heifer are offering to anyone who takes the time to stop and observe her, are insurmountable; she has made a conscious choice to love the life that is unfolding in front of her: hardships, happiness and everything in between.