Songs of the Cows

Songs of the Cows

The world is not a collection of countries but a vibrant collage of individuals, human and non-human beings alike, who shine as beacons among the wild and concrete tapestries we are all woven within. We are all energy in motion - emotion - rising and falling through hills and along borders. Some trying to get in, others out.

We’ve now cycled from England to middle of Germany and have over 1,000 edited photos to share. They are windows into stories, translations layered with meaning. Looking through them we see moments from days we’ve already forgotten, but the people and animals always stay with us.

Here we met a group of cows in northern Scotland caught on the other side of the fence, numbered, branded and destined for a grisly end.

I wished so much to give these cows bicycles, so they could cycle with us into a new horizon. Life would be a lot more fun if cows rode bikes. Instead we gave some time and presence, taking their portraits and watching.

The inspiration for our dream to see cows riding bikes with us, discovered at a bus stop shelter.

A Druid we met in Scotland told us, “whenever you stop somewhere, wait in silence for 20 minutes.” That’s when the birds will start to sing again and you’ll feel the song of the place come to life. Here we followed this advice and observed as the cows scratched their bums on fence posts, played, ate, pooed, sighed and stood staring back at us.

We listened to their song, and it felt full of tears and longing.

It’s a gift to hear the song of life in all its contrasting tones. Many of the songs sound way out of tune, as if we the musicians are still learning how to harmonize with one another.

Yet meetings like this one with cows who gaze soulfully into our own eyes tell us we’ve got a lot more in common than we know. Maybe we just need to slow down, sit in silence, and feel each other’s beating hearts more of the time.

May we listen to each other's songs.

Written in August, 2022 by Karla @karlasandersart

Written by Karla Sanders @karlasandersart | Photos by Steven Tiller @steventiller