Rose and Sam ate together silently in tangible peace. They talked together, walked together, and lived together. If Sam went on a brief outing, Rose paced perilously under the tall poplar trees that shaded their favorite meeting place, sweating profusely with impatience for Sam’s return, who seemingly brought back calm and relief. In other words, Rose was a sour pickle. Until after Ivan entered the picture as an uninvited visitor and some of that sourness went sweet.
Ivan was an orphan. Found and taken in for care by a neighbor of Rose and Sam.
On his own, Ivan soon discovered the buddies on the other side of the fence. Whether instinctively or guided, Ivan ambled, quiet as a feather to Rose and Sam, and contributed to the tangible peace.
Ivan always returned home for the night, staying safe and fed. His guardian of course, knew where he’d been during the daytime. She watched Ivan like a soldier, ready to protect and defend.
The guardian familiarized Ivan with his new household and carried him on a shoulder to introduce him to more neighbors, but soon, she had to admit that her method of watching was outdating faster than computers and she’d miss out if she didn’t transform for the better, her watching method.
Instead of watching to defend, the guardian watched to learn and organize what Ivan staged.
Ivan was indescribably respected by all, but then how could Ivan not be respected? He carried the formidable apparition of a mixture of gratitude, neutrality, worth, and forgiveness.
Counterintuitive to human nature, Ivan presumed living for life before living for himself. He approached others as if they were held in peace and purpose. In other words, Ivan didn’t approach others as if he had to give or get them peace. Ivan’s amazing approach sometimes mystified but also calmed and relieved me.
Yes, I was the guardian. Rose and Sam were horses. Ivan was a baby quail, weighing no more than a breath when found next to a dead mother quail. But Ivan took to his new home, cheeping furiously until I finally figured out the food he could eat.
He rode on my shoulder, or head, when I walked the orchard.
As for my riding, for years I’d been riding Rose in the Horse Heaven Hills of Washington state, and believe me when I say, Rose was sour, persnickety, with a nailed-in mindset that framed sweaty, precarious fear of the new, which made me afraid too since she weighed half a ton. Then I saw Ivan standing on Rose.
Do I laugh? Do I worry? Not really. I watch Ivan travel a trajectory of calm and relief. That watching inspires me to follow.
I Cor. 6, The Message, “When you think you have been wronged, does it make any sense to go before a court that knows nothing of God’s ways instead of a family of Christians? The day is coming when the world is going to stand before a jury made up of followers of Jesus. If someday you are going to rule on the world’s fate, wouldn’t it be a good idea to practice on some of these smaller cases? Why, we’re even going to judge angels! So why not these everyday affairs?”