Finding The Waymarkers

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St. Columba
June 12, 2012

Coming Full Circle
Nov. 7, 2010

Following the Waymarkers
Nov. 6, 2010

The Ancient Coracle
Nov. 5, 2010

With a Heart of Gratitude
Nov. 4, 2010

Unto Us a Calf is Born
Nov. 3, 2010

Christian Community as Pilgrim People
Nov. 2, 2010

Fiona Reads the Sleekit Mr. Tod
Nov. 1, 2010

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Unto Us a Calf is Born...

  Cows as pilgrimage waymarkers  
  posted November 3, 2010  

It was no more than a trembling bundle
A bag of bones and wet wool
A voice made of crying, like a child’s.

What a beginning, a fall,
To be born on the edge of the world
Between the sea and America.

Kenneth C. Steven
from the poem “Lamb” in IONA Poems

On the windy day while walking up the hill from the Abbey to the Macleod Centre to breakfast, I came upon a farmer hauling a newborn calf up from the creek to higher ground. The mother had just given birth in a muddy spot and the calf was struggling to get moving in the cold, wet morning. I stood with him as we watched this first-time mother begin to lick her calf to stimulate circulation, to bond. He felt the calf would survive.

Unto to us a calf is born and her name shall be called, Cowslip. All the staff and volunteers took an immediate interest in the birth and bonding. Most of us are city folks who felt the farmer should have taken the calf to a warm place to be revitalized. Over breakfast, we shared our concerns for Cowslip, her mother and what the weather might hold for the day. Our hearts took possession of the mother and child. We all wanted Cowslip to survive.

In the afternoon the weather changed. Heavy rain squalls began and the temperature dropped. We all worried about the struggle for life Cowslip and her mother might be waging.

The next day we learned that the farmer had returned to retrieve the calf and shelter her overnight. In the morning when the fierce weather had passed he returned her to her mother and the fields which will be her home. All will be well.

Loving God, may we learn to care for each other with the level of loving concern we offered Cowslip and her mother. We are here to practice loving. Help us to invest passionately with heart, mind and spirit.


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