My job was to open the gate, stand quietly, and let the girls pass through.
‘The girls’ being heifers. Cows. Bovines. Grass munchers. Mostly gentle creatures of dark eyes and long lashes.
Occasionally, you see, I find myself helping family or friends ‘in the yards’. Cattle yards.
As a small girl, growing up on a patch of earth surrounded by snappy gum trees and four-foot animals, I used to watch my father in the yards. Here, I first learnt the smell of cattle, horses, bare earth and rawness.
I learnt what it felt like to feel tiny, insignificant and diffident to an animal much larger, more powerful, and less tractable than myself.
There I was, on a warmly silken Sunday afternoon, earnestly grasping a heavy gate, made of timber and time older than myself. When given the nod, I heaved backward, pulling old hinges toward me, catching splinters as my hands contracted. Cattle passed through, a few walking sedately, most leaping and bounding, joining myself and the growing herd in the yard behind.
In the mix of the dust, the smell, and the coursing life of large bodies around me, it didn’t matter where I was before.
I was here now.
My sense of smell expanded, siphoning dust, hair and hide, urine, sweat and sunshine.
My vision widened, pupils dilated by the swaying unpredictability of each moment, watching, darting, assessing, appraising.
My hearing heightened, listening for approaching hooves, echoing with the keen of cattle, waiting for my call to act.
There is something of connecting with the immediacy of life that catapults you to your place of wildness.
Finding your primal calls you back to your body.
Connecting with your wildness shushes the errant stamping of your mind.
Standing in moments unknowable unlocks wisdom held in the sinews of your body and the vitality of your Soul.
How do you fill your being with the ancient stuff to elevate you to the exclusivity of your primal self?
1) Mix it with the big and the wild.
Visit a farm and ride a horse. Open your palm to the sandpaper tongue of a friendly cow. Go on a water logged tour that introduces you to playing dolphin and operatic whale.
2) Warm yourself with flame.
Take you and yours camping and build a campfire with purpose and hope. Sit encased in crackling quiet around a revamped fireplace. Watch a candle dwindle in mulling wax.
3) Enliven with the elements.
Plunge into freezing waters of a hidden pool in the heights of pine carpeted hinterland. Float like musings atop the buoyant density of salted sea. Run with naked feet through beneath unexpected rain.
4) Pause in galactic wonder.
Stand open beneath fullest moon. Fill your eyes with the romp of cascading stars. Speak aloud to the unfathomable grandeur of the milky way.
Connect with your wildness, and you connect with yourself.
You, liberated in primal pulse, are a masterpiece.