Rarely, if ever, have I featured a cow on Friday Cow Blogging whose photo was not taken by me. But when I saw this cow this morning on Facebook, I knew I had to feature her today on Friday Cow Blogging.
My friend MaryEllen in Albuquerque posted it. It was taken by her partner Barb Wold during their vacation last year, the last year they would spend together. Barb lost her battle with cancer in the fall. And the world lost one of its forces for change. Barb was a Democratic activist in New Mexico, whom I met in 2003 when we both joined the Dean campaign with the goal of sending George W. Bush back to Texas.
That didn't happen, not right away, but friendships were formed, and more importantly, organizations sprang up to continue the grassroots activism that Howard Dean encouraged. And Barb was front and center: she created the blog Democracy for New Mexico, where she posted daily about opportunites for New Mexicans to get involved, and more importantly, gave them information about candidates and issues in the state.
It's partly due to Barb's example that I created this blog a few months after moving away from New Mexico (you'll notice that we even use the same blogging platform, TypePad, since I'd seen how well it worked for her). I admired Barb a great deal, but ironically, our friendship began with a huge argument—I don't remember what it was about now, but I do remember deleting her passionate emails on the subject...and then later I grew to admire that passion, to learn from it, and be inspired by it.
I often wish I had Barb's guts, those uncompromising guts that led her to try to change the world. I'd like to change the world too. In a way, my Friday cows are my not-so-gutsy attempts to effect change.
I think Barb would have liked seeing her cow on Friday Cow Blogging. I miss seeing her photos on Facebook, and seeing her comments here. She had an appreciation for cows, and for all of life's beautiful things.