March 10, 2021

The strength of the buffalo

 It’s been ten years since I started my journey of becoming a Buffalo. 

   

Let me explain: 


Storms. We all face them sometimes. The hardest ones are the kind that come out of no where with dark heavy clouds that threaten our very existence. In the animal kingdom, no one is exempt from them either...but there is one animal who has it all figured out. 



When storms come, what cows (and other roaming animals) do is very natural. Cows sense the storm coming and immediately start to run in the opposite direction. The only problem is they aren’t very fast, so the storm catches up with them quickly. Without knowing any better the cows continue to try to outrun the storm, but instead of outrunning the storm they actually run right along with it. Thus their frantic running—away from the the storm—maximizes the amount of pain and time and frustration they experience in that storm! A struggle that could have ended more quickly, seems to carry on for a very long time, leaving the animal exhausted, defeated, and even permanently injured. 


Buffalo however take a different approach to storms. Buffalo wait and watch as a storm approaches. They remain relatively calm and keep their eye on the raging clouds. When the weather is close, the buffalo turn toward—and charge directly head on—into the storm. 


Instead of running away from the storm they run directly at the storm—straight through it—thus minimizing the amount of pain, time and frustration they experience from it. 


It has been ten years since our storm. Sometimes I have been the cow, wandering aimlessly, trying to out run and hoping to get ahead of the raging storm. Other times I have been the buffalo with my head down, charging it, ready to fight, ready to get through...ready to stand strong on the other side. 


The hard stuff in life either breaks us and wears us out...or gives us a strength we didn’t know we were capable of. The pain we carry either works to hold us back, or gives us a reason to keep pushing through. 


We can learn a lot from the buffalo. Even in the times we can’t see the storm coming, we can still decide—in a moment—if we lean into the coming storm or if we spend the rest of our lives trying to run from it. Either way there will be moments we have to face it...either head on, or it knocking us over from behind. 


You guys have shared your buffalo stories with me. I have learned from your perseverance how to be better. I have gained from your experiences insight on how I can strengthen myself. Thank you for learning, sharing, and inspiring me the last decade to help me keep going. 


I cannot imagine the strength this girl—who started this journey exactly ten years ago—has gained...without picturing all of you. You have seen the goodness in me I thought was lost when that gun fired. You have given me a space to own my story...instead of running and hiding from it. And like the buffalo, you have helped me find strength to hold my head high, grit my teeth and keep stepping into the storms life has sent. 


Ten years ago we said goodbye to a lot of things. One of those was our innocence. That has been a hard one to find again. But through the ten years—of buffalo moments—that have followed, we have gained way more than we lost. I will never be the same as that innocent young mom who sat on that couch and had her heart ripped out of her chest.  I know now just how cruel this world can be. And also...I will never forget that moment I stepped into my closet and prayed harder than I have ever prayed. I will never forget the light that filled my heart and mind...promising me of a brighter day. Promising me that I could learn how to truly forgive; promising me that someday I would be able to breath again. That moment and that prayer gave me a glimmer of what could be. That prayer and that promise...gave me the strength to walk forward—just like a mama buffalo—into the storm. 


I know those clouds are dark. I know the pain is real and the wounds run so deep...but don’t you give up. This storm will pass and the light on the other side will find you. 







*Photo credit: Tom Murphy www.tmurphywild.com this picture was used with permission from Tom. Please visit his page to check out more amazing photography. 

1 comments:

Jan Leonard said...

Thank you for sharing ..you are truly an inspiration and I to will try to always remember this story of the “Buffalo ♥️

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