Posted on Aug 26, 2014
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
It is impossible to celebrate The Gentle Barn’s 15th Anniversary without talking about Buddha. Buddha was The Gentle Barn’s very first cow. She was also the same age as The Gentle Barn, so she would have been 15 years old now. Buddha was the wisest animal we have ever met and it was very common for people to bend down to hug her and burst into tears. She gave out over 300,000 hugs in her lifetime and she helped the at-risk kids we hosted become vulnerable and open. I hugged her every single day and she would wrap her neck around me and hug me back. I would meditate with her every evening and would feel a deep peace sitting beside her. Buddha’s body eventually wore down from arthritis and it became impossible for her to walk or stand. It was time for her to transcend her body, but the loss at The Gentle Barn was monumental.
Years later we still have visitors ask for her and cry when they find out she has passed. Buddha embodied unconditional love and sometimes it was the first real hug some of the kids we host ever had. If you met Buddha consider yourself lucky. If you never met her, I’m so sorry you missed her, but when you come visit us, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and feel the magic of The Gentle Barn and the warmth in your heart: that’s Buddha, still here with us, still loving us!
Happy anniversary, Buddha, we will never forget you!
Written by Ellie Laks
Founder, The Gentle Barn