Thursday, 24 July 2014

Tempo's lost loves


It is hot, where is the breeze, it is a little hard to breathe, if only there was a breeze.  Jen looked up at the bright, clear full moon and listened to the crickets.  She got the hose and began to water the frangipani tree that was continuing to punch above its weight.   “Are you fighting a losing battle little buddy, with enough water and tender loving care can you harden up to the unrelenting summer sun and the harsh winter frosts and prove all the experts wrong?” Jen spoke to the precious tree, she waited a little while as if truly expecting a response but there was no audible answer.  Jen hoped against the odds that it just might be possible that a sweet, gentle pretty tree could survive out here in this harsh climate, one day they might smell the soft aroma of frangipani flowers and she could stop buying the fragrance in a bottle for the oil burner.

She  looked up to the clear night sky, enveloped in the smell and sounds of water hitting the hot dirt and the faint aromas of basil and lavender from the garden and the cherry blossom soap on her skin from a recent shower, enjoying the overwhelming feelings of love and contentment. 

Tonight the serenity was broken by the mournful bellow of the poddy calf, “Oh Templeton” Jen whispers.  He is calling to his three friends who went on the cattle truck, or beef bus, yesterday afternoon.  Jen tries not to cry, but tears spike her eyes. She knows it is the circle of life, but she thought cows were dumb, who knew they loved the other cows and missed them when they were gone.  Templeton had been pacing their small block since yesterday morning, occasionally calling out for Harry, Tim and Craig.  Today he caught sight of a cow in a neighbours paddock and went straight over to see if it was his mates, but to no avail, he came back, head lowered, disappointed and sad.

The mournful bellow reminded Jen of a time when her soul was lost and lonely and called out into the seemingly empty night sky.  It makes her think of all the other relationships that we give no thought to, have no respect for and the understanding we lack of the importance of love.  Jen thinks to herself how much importance is placed on money each and every day, yet it is some kind of peculiar cow love that is making poor Tempo bellow loudly into the night. Love, it always always comes back to love. 
The cow is persistent, the cry is desperate and loud and each time he pauses in hopeful anticipation that his friends will call back and they will be reunited.  She slumps her shoulders knowing that they will never be reunited and wondering how long Templeton will exist in this sad, but slightly hopeful, state.

Her husband, Chris, steps into the garden and startles her at first, but then she says “Oh my goodness Chris listen to Tempo, he is till calling out to the other cows, and he is just a simple  cow, his sole purpose to provide us with food but he is sad, he is broken hearted.”

Chris was sad too that the poddy was so distraught but he said nothing.

Jen continued, getting quite upset “His cries make me think of all the people who are deprived of love their whole lives.  Walking through life, bellowing just like Templeton, calling into the darkness hoping against all odds that somebody they love, and who loves them back, will call back, offer security, friendship, comfort and joy.  Every time he calls out my heart breaks for the lonely, the scared, the heart broken, the deprived, the hungry and the vulnerable.  I can’t even help this poor cow, I cannot bring his friends home, how can I help anybody else who is suffering?” 

Chris is quietly mumbling something in agreement but has wandered off to move the sprinkler, he is reluctant to get caught up in Jen’s ‘we should change the world’ scenarios. He can not understand why  she has to read so much into a basic reality of life.  He would never say that out loud again, he did that once and still regrets the sermon he received how justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.

Before the misery gets too overwhelming Tempo thankfully stops bellowing  and they are both distracted by the other shapes, noises and smells and  enjoy the quiet evening in the garden.  Chris and Jen soon head inside, ready for bed, it is still too hot to sleep but the whirring sound of the ceiling fan is relaxing and comforting and sleep will not be too far away.

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