Updated: Aug 1, 2021
“ Her baby turned around to face me and I kissed her on the nose, then took our picture to remember how beautiful she is."
I entered the Goshalla barn quietly, knowing that it was someplace very special that I had shared with Om, and I was afraid of the surge of loneliness or sadness it might bring. I cautiously walked down the row of cows, barely looking at them, instead searching for the devotee who gave them care. I had not been back to New Vrindaban since Om left. On our visit last Fall, we had driven to the far field to meet the two cows rescued from the Midwest by funds raised by friends and family in honor of our wedding. I felt a wave of anxiety grip me and I turned to leave but stopped myself. I asked instead, “Prabhu, do you know which barn our cows are now kept in?” He smiled and pointed. “Usha and Parvati? They are the first two in front.” I gasped as I realized I had walked by them, and each one had been nursing a calf. I ran to them and threw my arms around Usha. “Sweet girl, sweet girl,” I whispered as her baby looked up at me from underneath her, still drinking. I sat down on the floor between the two mothers and put my arms out as Parvati leaned into me. Her baby turned around to face me and I kissed her on the nose, then took our picture to remember how beautiful she is. I sat there for a few minutes between the four of them, brushing them gently with my hand as they smelled me and rubbed against my face. I thought of how the fate of these beautiful creatures was changed by a simple act of kindness, and that not so long ago there was no light in their future, until there was. “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna,” I said, over and over. And I held them. And they held me. And I wept.