There’s no else one around in this idyllic place. I see my orange covered knee against the blue of the sky and the clouds float gently by. When I have had my fill of gazing up at the sky, I lie in the tree and observe it’s skin. Sshshshsh-the wind rustles through the leaves. Holy cow who is that in a car rupturing my meditations with a big RRRRRRR. This is a place for mooooos and chirpy chirp and baa…baa…. and sshshshshsh. It’s a man in the driver’s seat with a map. I ask him what’s up. He says he’s looking for his lost cows. He’s the farmer who owns the farm that spreads out before me, where deer duck in the wheat fields when they see me approach with my camera. Thirteen of his cows have wandered off and cannot be found. It’s summer and they are not expected to stay in a barn. Anyway, the barn is a cinema house these days. In the winter it’s a storage shed. And the cows in winter? Where do they live? Oh, they’re slaughtered by then. These unholy wayward cows were transported in a big van from the north of Sweden for the farmer who bought them. They’re summer cows who roam the open meadows eating up the grass and weeds that otherwise threaten this idyllic landscape. They protect the open meadows and get fat in return. In October, they will be meat. The farmer gets a subsidy from the EU (barely enough, he says) to let them wander and chew and moo.
I could, I suppose offer to let some folks ‘back home’ in India know about this. There’s every chance they would kindly offer to adopt these unholy cows when they are eventually found. Like they offered to adopt the ones who got mad cow disease. Flying mad cow cows a few thousand miles to convert them from unholy to holy cows and place them in palliative care till the end of their (sad) days.
My lady calls me a cathedral standing before the crowd of fifteen people who are seated on the benches before her. They’re huddled in blankets. Some of them smile. The summer light has a way of filtering in and making magic inside me. The stacks of hay make for the balcony places where a farmer, after a hard day’s work lies, his wide brimmed hat catching my attention. Behind my lady is a white screen. Welcome she says to the fantastic film festival in this space like a cathedral. The screen lights up and the film starts.
I must be a cathedral that wants to be a cinema house that was once a barn.
In my lady’s grandfather’s time, I housed the cows. I was a resting place and a production place. I was a quiet place and a busy place. I was a place where life was created and calves learned to stand. I was a place where milk flowed. I was a shelter from the cold, and the sun. I embraced the life I held and the master made sure I was whole and complete.
Then the cows and bulls left one by one and I never saw them again. No new ones came. I was a silent place. The snow fell on me in winter and in the summer, the light streamed in and the hay lay in quiet solitude. The rain fell. My roof had holes and I became bitter and quiet. I stood alone. The aroma of cows and bulls and all they produce has left me.
Then, at the end of one summer, there came a couple of cars and campers with people in them. I was happy to hear them. But they left leaving their machines behind. Once more, there was silence. In September, someone climbed up and fixed the holes.
I stood almost a year alone and quiet. Puzzled.
Then they came again, the people when the weather turned warm and took out their machines. I was a silent cathedral celebrating the summer light.
A couple of months later the same cars and campers as well as some new ones were parked in …and so the years went by. No one said a word.
Now my lady claims that actually I am a cathedral who wants to be a cinema house who was once a barn.