I’m a little late. That’s fairly ordinary for me. Marie at http://journeyingbeyondbreastcancer.com challenged us to post a picture of something ordinary each day, and reflect upon it. More at http://journeyingbeyondbreastcancer.com/2012/08/26/celebrating-the-ordinary-day-one/.

I just returned from vacation and missed the first three days. Our trip back home was not ordinary, it was beautiful, filled with amazing landscapes as we drove from the Pyrenees in Spain through France and home to Switzerland. But this morning, I took Lily for a walk. An ordinary walk. We live in a large apartment complex, set against a hill…a maze of concrete terraces. At the back of the complex, the top of the hill is another hill where some ordinary cows graze. I don’t have a photograph, so I’ll just write instead on the amazing and beautiful ordinary cows.

Gray-brown ordinary cows. They have floppy ears with a fringe of lighter, yellowish brown hair inside – it makes their ears stand out. And their ears flap back and forth, batting away flies. Sometimes their ears move together, but often not. It’s comical and sweet. And their faces are beautiful, with their large dark eyes, and dark noses. But here’s the surprise – there is a ring of white around their nose and mouth. It softens their faces, I think, and enhances their beauty – maybe providing contrast to their eyes and noses.

I love to watch these cows…they are beautiful. Mostly they are placid, chewing away, or staring off into space, often all pointing in the same direction. Someone told me that the proportion of cows laying down in a field is predictive of the probability of rain. I don’t know if that’s true – I’ve never put it to a test. This morning, the cows were quiet, but sometimes, they are testy…pushing each other. And one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen – cows running across the field in full gallop, their spindly legs hurling their rectangular bodies across the field. Efficiently, and faster than you might imagine. And every once in a while, one cow will point a snout to the sky and moo, a deep, soulful sound.

In Switzerland, where I live, cows often graze on rocky, hilly, steep fields. I admire their ability to balance and graze on steep slopes and at high altitudes. One of the things that I love about living here is the diversity …dense housing, small towns and cities surrounded by farms, forests, mountains.