Monday, December 12, 2011

Purple Cows

   I do intend to publish a sweet Yule Tide poem for the season. My heart has been flooded with love for all  people that have touched my life with care and love and that are touching it now.  I found my self sharing this moment of true love from my Mother whom was also was my teacher and friend.  I was struck with the gift that she gave me in the moment and that I felt so much love of self for all the things that I once felt so much shame. Love has no shelf life it waits
 for you to notice always.
At that moment in time I did not know the power and the beauty of the fierce and loving battle that my Mother fought for my purple cows.  I did not see at the time the beautiful protective wolf woman that so many times would fight for my humanity so hard that she would even fight me if I forgot myself.
    The battle of the purple cow was short and to the point.  I was in a class room full of children that where not like me at all.  Being taught by a woman who perceived me as a drain on her time. Time better spent on teaching children whom could “benefit more from her attention.”
    It was getting to be spring in a small town in Arkansas called Mountain Home.  We where all in the first grade and being asked to color a wonderful scene of farm animals with their young on a sunny spring day.  I thought that it was a wonderful assignment.  The sun had a big chubby cheek smile and was looking down on the farm with big black button eyes.  Animals looked at their young with big smiles in the corner there was even a mama daisy and a daddy daisy holding one another’s petals and looking down at a smaller daisy with sighing pride.
    I thought that the picture wondrous, it filled me up with joy and reminded me of a Disney cartoon that I had once seen with two trees that had fallen in love and where surrounded by dancing flowers. My imagination ran riot I outlined all the smiles in bright colors.  I made the horse family dappled roans like my Mama’s jumping horse.  I added smiling butterflies and put in a small rainbow.  By the time I got to the barn and the cows I was on a roll.  They where in the center of the picture and one of the larger animals so I went wild and colored them my favorite color in the whole world. Purple, with periwinkle feet no less, except the baby she had pink feet.
    Some time had gone by and the teacher was going from desk to desk making comments.  I never really looked forward to getting her attention for any length of time.  Even a child can feel when they are thought of as a problem all the time.  She took my picture off the desk and said well I see that you like bright colors and the rainbow is nice but, sweetie what color is this cow?  I thought the question odd she had a color chart on the wall behind her big as life.  Purple I said, every one laughed at me that was nothing new.  I was always getting laughed at and teased or worse.  She said to me “Now Anne are cows Purple?”  Not all cows I answered but my cows are purple.  This is supposed to be a day on the farm.  Have you ever seen a purple cow on a farm? At this point I looked down face red with embarrassment and anger.  Answer me. No.  Class what are some colors of cows.  through snickers I heard white, black, brown, red.  I need you to do the picture right at home and bring it back to class tomorrow.  I was so angry.  Why couldn’t I have a purple cow?  The sun did not have a big silly grin on it and daisy's did not raise there young I was six but I lived on a ranch and I knew better.  I went home in a mopey funk I fed my dog and plopped in a chair to do my homework with frown.  Is that math my mother asked ? Change your attitude and it wont be so hard. She knew that it was not my favorite subject.  Noooo I said in a long wine. I have to color a picture again because teacher did not like mine.

    Well that should be fun for you. You love to color, what was wrong with the first one?  “My cows are purple and that’s not right”.  My mother took the one I had colored and said this is wonderful there is nothing wrong with purple cows.  She says I need to make them like they would be on a real farm in the spring.  My mother belly laughed and said this looks nothing like a real farm.  I smiled up at her,  she seemed to get me some how.  All the silly grins and the (big word I did not get at the time) I later learned that anthropomorphizing  is to assign or project human behavior on to animals.  But at the time I just said, What?  Animals are not people they have feelings and there own ways about them but it is not like us,  a horse smiles or frowns with its whole body it can let you know that it is happy by pricking its ears forward and calling to you.  A mare lets her baby know that she cares and all is well by grooming the baby not grinning like that.
   There is nothing real in this picture but it is fun and joyful and I think you did a fine job coloring it.  She wrote a note on the back that I did not read and back to class I went with my purple cows.  After class my mother was called and her and my teacher spoke about why my cows where not to be purple.  That it would help me a great deal to be more like the other children in the class.  That in fact I was so different it might be better to put me in a school with other children like me.  My mother fumed at the teacher and said that there was nothing wrong with my mind.  The teacher sputtered on saying that my differences stood out and that I had no friends in class.  My Mother said that perhaps if the teacher acted more comfortable with me the students would as well.  That she had tried to home school me and the district would not allow it  and there was no way in Hades that I was going to be packed off to a school for children with Cerebral Palsy to learn how to make key chains and pot holders.  I had a perfectly good mind.  The teacher stood her ground and said that I would not be getting any credit for this assignment.  My Mama took me to the car angry and a little sad.  I said I am sorry Mama.  She got real intent and looked at me  she said Anne Marie you look me in the eye you did not do anything wrong.  There is nothing wrong with being different and there is nothing wrong with you.  Spirit knows this world can use a hell of allot more purple cow’s.
    Years later I realized that I was a purple cow,  Joyful beyond my supposed  limits and raised by a woman that  raised me to dance as if no one was watching I did too.   Till my teens and the need for others to  think well of me took over. I think it is time to get back to my inner purple cow.

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