thoughts in the mornings

The cows were still moving

It had been a quiet couple of days. Some respite was needed after a prolonged period of picking over her past life and making decisions about what she would take forward and what she would leave for another day.

The loft had revealed many forgotten treasures and the general sense of clearing had been largely successful. She'd found 4 jumpers, carefully vacuum packed for storage some years ago and now feeling like a whole new winter wardrobe. She'd thrown out years of old bank statements and evidence of credit card excesses amongst the old love letters and endless cards.

She had undergone a pretty profound catharsis which she was definitely feeling the benefits of. A sense of emerging order and lightness which felt more suitable to the current times. Yet it had been a painful process of remembering and rediscovering and she was glad to have closed the loft door at last. She hadn't actually closed it herself because this was now beyond her own physical capacities and this was another of those moments of acceptance. It wasn't absolutely sorted but it would do for now. Sometimes, one has to be pragmatic and she had to acknowledge that she simply couldn't do any more for now.

What she also had to acknowledge was that she still didn't quite know what to do with the Cows. The porcelain cow collection that had continued to grow, even after her wife's death. She smiled at the memory of the first one arriving, 21 years ago.

She was the biggest of the collection, a heavily made up, glamorous looking cow who had been bought in Amsterdam from the Cow Parade shop. Her wife had brought it back on the same day the woman had been told that her school had passed its Ofsted inspection and it seemed a fitting addition to their home. It was before sickness and sorrow came to them in such abundance and Abimbola the Mother cow as she was named, still remained a beacon of of strength, even as the world seemed to be spinning off its axis.

Over the years, the cow collection grew. Some came as gifts from friends who joined the herd, others were bought on their travels. After her wife died, the cows continued to grow. Little ones, like Superhero Cow and Chocolate Cow and bigger ones like Fire-fighter Cow and Shopping Cow.

All made with tiny details and lots of love. Her late wife had loved them and though they took up lots of space and potentially could gather a lot of dust, they had been part of their home. A talking point. A collection for others to add to. To be a part of.

They had been on a dresser in the kitchen for years and then, when the cancer came, so too did more cows. This time via ebay. From bed. It was surreal and it was unsurprising. She had been a prolific shopper. They were all over the house by the time she died. A comforting herd of porcelain cows.

Again, the woman smiled at the memory of her incredible wife who even in sickness had managed to shop and find treasures. The last months had been full of packages arriving and though some of them seemed random, even by her own standards, they had given her the dopamine hit she needed as her life came to its end. Gladness and sadness forever entwined and yet again, the woman felt the privilege of her life.

Now, after weeks of clearing and sorting and essentially doing the spring clean in Winter, all of the Cows had been moved. Only Abimbola and Firefighter Cow were on display for the time being. All the others were now upstairs. Either in her study or in the loft, each awaiting the spring adventures. For a moment, like a child, she wondered what it would be like if they did come to life when no one was around, like in Toy story. It would be a bit mental of course. But it would be fun.

She smiled again. Mental. Just like she'd always said. The woman was ok with that.