The Golden Girls have picked up a shadow. A young appaloosa, new to the pasture has adopted them. Like many other newbies, Tosh, short for Macintosh, has found safe haven with Pepper and Chickadee.
This boy is not even two years old and didn’t know thing one about life in a herd.
Truth be told, some of us thought Tosh was a bit young to be thrown into the pasture to fend for himself for food and community. The dominant horses did their usual yee-haw and giddy-up on him, chasing him and kicking each time he approached. He’s got the kick marks to show he tried. But Tosh is just a little too young to understand the ways of the herd.
Instead he chose to hang out with the Golden Girls.
Pepper may have given him “the look,” ears laid back accompanied by a snort or two, but that would likely be her only protest. So Tosh quickly learned he’d found a place of safety. It was probably a lot like being with his mom. And these two mares have been so good at taking in strays. Their maternal instinct is strong.
Pepper and Chickadee have allowed Tosh to tag along as they wander the pasture. He’s found a place of safety where he can ease himself into herd life. He’s also learned about getting treats. That one came quickly!
Occasionally we’ve found him hanging out with some of the other horses, but then he returns to his safe haven. It’s like a human toddler venturing out away from mom to learn about the world, and then returning to home base.
Come to think of it, Tosh is a toddler of sorts.
Watching this latest drama unfold in the pasture has made me reflect on the people and places in my life that offer me safe haven.
I am blessed to have a rather long list— long enough to customize depending on the situation and what I need. I have friends, family, and mentors, all of whom are willing to make themselves available to me. And I have many places of comfort—places that hold and soothe me, both in the natural world and in my home.
Like Tosh, from time to time, each of us needs people and/or places to comfort us, to offer us safe haven from the storms of our life.
The time will come when Tosh no longer needs the safety offered by two old mares.
As he grows into a strong young gelding, he will likely leave them to take his place in the larger herd. But until then, they have his back.
And don’t you just love them for it?