As I look at this painting entitled “Motherhood”, I begin to think about what it means to be a mother. (I will begin by saying that I am not a woman, so I will never know what it’s like to be a mother, and I don’t have kids yet, so I am not speaking from personal parenting experiences).
First of all, the rolling hills in the landscape are beautiful. The lush colors provide a sense of warmth and life that one might expect from the hillsides of Scotland or Ireland. The stark contrast of the two white cows in the middle of the field is striking.
The mother cow seems alert. Even in the midst of what seems to be a safe and protected environment, she is on guard and knows where her calf is. The calf seems to find comfort and protection in the touch of its mother, knowing that food and room to play are close by, but that the safety of mother’s touch is still key.
I wonder if this painting is a good parallel to what motherhood must feel like. Standing in a field, surrounded by all that you know, but all that you need is to feel the presence of your child. It seems as if the mother and her calf would be content to simply graze and bond for the rest of their days. I imagine what it must be like for the mother as the calf begins to become less and less dependent on mother’s milk, and begins to graze further and further out into the pastures. I wonder how the calf feels as it comes over a ridge to find its mother still there, waiting for it to return.
I think about my own life growing up. I think about the times that I found comfort in knowing that my mother was nearby. I think of the times that I began to graze in new pastures, only to return back to the safety and security of the fold of home.
There is something about the bond of a mother and her children that will forever be one of nature’s most beautiful expressions of intimacy, love, protection, and care.
That may be a lot to see in a painting of two cows standing in a field…but it makes me think…it makes me feel…it makes me remember. And that, brothers and sisters, is what art is all about.
Shalom, y’all –