By Marilyn Sickler, Missouri
How does a person who hasn’t spent much time around animals prove her belief that animals are Soul? A tender experience near a cow pasture broadened my spiritual horizons.
Years ago, my husband and I lived in the country. Our mailbox was across the road next to a big cow pasture enclosed by an old barbed-wire fence. I luxuriated in the beauty of the scenery and enjoyed the wild pasture, the trees, the grasses in the ditch, and the quiet of nature.
Living in the country was new for me. Growing up, I had never been around animals. Now, although we had thirty acres, we did not have any animals. I always knew animals were Soul, just like we are, but my experience with them was very limited.
Every day while walking up our road to get the mail, I used the time to sing HU, my love song to God. I always enjoy this nondirected prayer, and it was especially meaningful for me one perfect day. The sky was blue, the clouds were white and puffy, and I heard birds singing and insects chirping. I was filled with love and gratefulness.
As I reached the mailbox, I saw that several of the many cows were also enjoying the day and grazing near the fence in the huge field. I would always sing to them if they were nearby. Over the months of my daily walk, when I sang HU some looked up and a few walked closer. Mostly, however, they continued their happy munching and ignored me.
A Golden Moment
This particular day, being alone and at one with nature, I grabbed my mail and walked up to the fence while still singing HU out loud. A big black cow came right to the fence where I stood knee-deep in weeds and wildflowers.
I started to sing louder. Then I bravely put my hand out, reached over the old fence, and patted the black cow’s head. Not being an animal person, I found it to be a nice feeling to touch its soft and silky fur.
To my surprise a big tear slowly welled up in one of the animal’s beautiful eyes and came streaming down its face. We watched each other for a while, and those huge “cow-brown eyes” seemed to look right into me.
It was as though we were no longer cow and person, but totally Soul and Soul. It was very clear to me that this Soul had felt the love of the HU, the sound within all sounds, and was able to connect with it. I felt moved by this perfect moment.
A Spiritual Surprise
Later that day I saw the owner of the cows when I went into town. We stopped to chat, and I told him some of what had happened between his cow and me. He was an older, salt-of-the-earth sort of gentleman and had been raising beef cattle for years. I said, “I was singing to your cows, and one of them walked up to the fence and let me pet it.”
The old rancher told me he couldn’t believe it. He said, “That animal you were petting was not a cow, but a very mean, aggressive bull!” He was totally amazed that the black bull had even come close to me, much less let me pet him.
I walked away with a big smile on my face. I knew now that I’d had a confirmation. This truly had been a golden moment of Soul reaching out to Soul. My heart overflowed with gratitude for the glorious experience.
It proved to me that even a so-called mean bull could hear and relate to the sound and call of Soul.