Spring technically begins in March, but in New England it seems like spring prefers not to show it’s lovely self until Easter has passed. Easter has passed, and on our way home from Maine I noticed that Massachusetts decided to bloom. Between the flowering plots of rhododendrons and forsythia, crocuses and daffodils are peeping out from behind the rows of blossoming dogwoods. The world is just…
Actually, the world inspiring me probably isn’t bucolic. I don’t know of many cow fields with rhododendron bushes in them, do you? The world basically means the same thing as the more widely known “pastoral.” It describes a quality reminiscent of the lives of shepherds, or, I should say…cowherds. “Bucolic” comes from the Latin bucolicus, meaning the exact same thing it does in English. The Romans got it from the Greek word boukolikos, also meaning the same thing. Apparently, describing things in relation to the lives of young men who run around poking livestock with sticks is a universally valuable concept.
The fun thing about boukolikos is that it come from the Greek work boukolos, which is a compound of bous (meaning “cow”) and kolos (meaning “herdsman”). While “pastoral” relates to the lives of those herding sheep, “bucolic” references the lives of those who herd cows. What I want to know is this: if we lived in the alternative universe where cows are a more viable livestock option in the Middle East, would the religious heads of a major world religion be called “Bucolos” and would the parables all speak of the Good Cowherd?
I’ll just leave you with that image for a bit, shall I?