"Can we all just get along?"
I am not sure how many of you remember when Rodney King said those famous words. It was a time of tremendous strife, just like today. Los Angeles had burst into flames and violence. Racial tensions were boiling over. Can’t stop thinking about how little has changed.
Watching the news is, well, depressing. More hate. Blacks hate whites. Muslims hate Christians and Jews. ISIS seems to hate everyone. And the victims seem lost somewhere in all this: Children being washed up on shore after trying to escape persecution. People fighting over immigration. Police officers being shot. More than I can handle sometimes.
That is why I am so grateful for the life I am blessed with here at the ranch. Every day, I get to see how we should live, at peace with one another.
I am convinced that most of the stories being played out in the news are a result of politics. Here at the ranch, there are no politics. The animals are not motivated by greed or ego or prejudice. They are motivated by carrots. Life is so simple. We can learn so much from animals.
For years I have watched the various animals living at the ranch, and the one thing that stands out is how little strife there is between them. They all find a way to “just get along”. I am not saying that they are instant friends. There is always some testing and establishing of pecking order, but once done, it is done.
I watch the animals carefully, learning their way of greeting each other so I can mimic and become one with them. They are not instant friends. In fact, it appears to take seven greetings before a real relationship starts to develop. Maybe that is our problem. We are all in such a hurry. Life moves fast and maybe we just need to slow down and learn from the animals.
When Myrrh-y, our oldest camel came home, I stabled him with Balaam, the donkey. Myrrh-y was a bottle baby and every morning when I came out to check on them, Balaam’s ears were wet from Myrrh-y sucking on them. Two totally different critters. Best friends. How I wish we could be more like them.
I know a part of it is exposure: Animals tend to fear what they don’t know. I think that is true with people as well. Understanding other people, other cultures, seems essential on this planet that has grown smaller through media exposure. Horses are terrified of camels (and llamas and alpacas for that matter. With exposure, they can become good friends. I see that same potential in people.
Whatever the reason, here at the ranch, there is peace. You are welcome to experience it. We are open Saturdays from 10 – 4. Come on out and make some new friends. Just remember, all good things must come to an end, and the ranch closes after the last Saturday in October.
Also, we will be closing for one Saturday on Sept. 26 in order to pay it forward. We will be providing a petting zoo at Tomkins Elementary School for their carnival, and also doing a fundraiser in Rosamond during their Armed Forces Day celebration. So if you can’t make it out to the ranch, maybe you can meet some of the critters at one of these events and help support a couple of good causes.