The cows are on the ice.

There’s a Swedish expression, ‘no cow on the ice’. Back in the old days, the cows of Scandinavia were allowed to roam outside all year round. Farmers would make a hole in the ice for them to drink. Sometimes a cow’s forelegs would fall through the thin ice and the farmer would have to pull them out by their tail. ‘No cow on the ice’ means, don’t stress, things are going to be ok.

Hmmm. I would venture to say that these days all the cows are on the ice and it’s close to cracking. Words like ‘second wave’ or ‘it’s going to be a tough winter’ can no longer be eye-rolled and hand-waved away. This is happening and it’s horrible.

How do we survive when the ice is paper thin and things once under control are slipping away?

I suppose we just have to grab hold of the things we can and trust other people to do the same. Maybe getting hold of the cow’s tail means wearing face masks, staying away from other people’s houses and washing our hands. What terrifies me is that even those little things are over-looked. And then, failure to do things first regarded as ‘little’ leads to a HUGE, uncontrollable problem.

Some deluded people may still say there are no cows, or the ice is not breaking but we know what we have to do. See the simple things as a chance to save a life and help out those health workers we found it so easy to clap for.

I’ve often written about treasuring the little things. Now I’m realising, they are much more vital than I ever thought before.

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