I'm not sure why this story has stayed with me, but it has. I realised as I was thinking about it the other day that something about it feels extraordinary - dreamlike - something about care, responsibility, generosity.
I was with some friends, driving along a country road at dusk in rural Australia. A car that was coming the other way flashed us, and we pulled up beside a man who told us "There's a cow in the road. Almost ran it over. Thought I should let you know." "Thanks." said my friend who was driving, and we slowly drove on.
A few minutes later, we saw the cow lolling along slowly in front of us, wandering from one side of the road to the other. We laughed and slowed down, and eventually managed to avoid startling it as we found our way past it down the road.
But as we began to pull away, we realised that it was going to stay in the road unless someone helped it back into one of the fields. And it was getting quite dark. And so my friend just pulled over and got out of the car and walked back into the road towards the animal. And then she just kind of danced around slowly, softly talking to this big cow until she managed to coax it back through a gate into a field.
And then she got back in the car and drove us home.
All in a moment, at late dusk, in Byron Bay...