Nearly every morning, I take the same route on my early walk or jog—the canal road that goes by the Heffie’s pasture. Even if I’m in a hurry, I always stop to count them to make sure they’re all there, probably because I’ve never forgotten the sight of a neighbor’s heifer which had fallen into the canal a few years ago. (She did get out safely.)
I’ve heard it said that cattle don’t respond to human verbal interaction, but I confess that I always talk to the Heffies anyway. Most cowfolks would call me crazy, but I often greet the heifers by name or speak blessings over them. “Hi, Blossom and Bubbles! Bless you, Annabelle and Winky! Be fruitful and multiply, Flame and Cupcake! Be safe and healthy, Dottie and Angel!” It might be my imagination, but they seem to welcome my greetings of goodwill.
Speaking of greetings…I recently read that in the Gospels, Jesus often greeted people with, “Peace to you!” In Hebrew, “peace” is shalom, which means peace, safety, prosperity, wellness, restoration, goodness, and wholeness. One scholarly definition of shalom is “nothing missing, nothing broken”. I like that!
Dear readers, I don’t know most of your names, but please allow me to take this opportunity to wholeheartedly, if electronically, send you this greeting: “Shalom to you!”