Today the site of the former field hospital is a cemetery and memorial dedicated to the soldiers who died there. And, it turns out, there are two Charolais cows grazing on the hillock above the remains of the hospital bunkers.
As we drove up, this pretty cow came loping over to greet our car. I was as eager to see her as she was to see me—I simply can't get enough photos of gorgeous cows, and these white French cows are very distinctive. Her thick muscles rippled as she walked, yet she stepped ever so delicately amidst the high grass. Her gorgeous pink nose sniffed me as I held out my hand.
Isn't she the most beautiful cow?
She has no idea of the significance of her little pasture, situated above the forward field hospital.
In Flanders Fields, the cattle low...slightly edited version of McCrae's moving poem.
I'll have more about Ieper later. It's a very moving place, the scene of massive destruction and senseless loss of life.
I'm glad I stopped and spent some time with this sweet cow, and her more reticent friend. I needed a bracing dose of sweetness for what was to come.