Historical setting: Crossing the Pyrenees in the 6th Century C.E.
“It’s no surprise then, when Jesus was born the same year as I, our families were already close and Jesus and I were together whenever his family was in Jerusalem. Even when Joseph wasn’t working nearby they still made that journey at least once a year because they too were devout Jews.”
“So,” Nic adds, “You are telling me Jesus was always there from the beginning and forever, as far as you’re concerned?”
“I guess so. If Jesus the human person is a true but earthly metaphor for that which the hair-splits of the Orthodox Trinitarians call the ‘Christ,’ then I would say, yes. He was with the world before I was born so I can’t say otherwise.
Our peaceful ride across the ridges of the Pyrenees allowed me this meander far from the story I started to tell of seeing flocks of sheep moving in patterns like murmurs of birds in the skies or schools of fish in the sea.
“So Nic, I was going to tell you about the time when Jesus and I went out and found the shepherds in hills outside of Bethlehem.”
Just now, our ride is taking us very near a flock of sheep that are on the move up the hillside toward us on this ridge. The shepherd seems a distance off.
Oh! Right from the midst of the sheep a large white dog[Blogger’s note] rises up barking furiously at our horses! The Rose rears up! Nic seems a skilled horseman as he stays in the saddle like a statue of a Roman Emperor rearing on a pedestal. Umber whinnies and shies away but at least all fours stay on the ground. The commotion gets the donkey’s sweet song of terror started, and the dog turns his ferocious clamor toward the donkey. All the noise and plunder send the sheep asunder back down the hillside. I slide down with the reign in my left, and my right hand reaching out hoping to calm the dog, or get bitten, whatever would be the nature of this critter. Under all his bark and fluff the dog turns his incessant barks from stranger warning into a friendly fugue of loud voiced greetings for the donkey.
With the sheep scattering, the dog barking pointlessly, the horses abating, the donkey confused, only the men are left to their shrieks and hollers.
The shepherd is still a long way off hobbling toward us waving his rod over his head and shouting curses in a language neither of us knows, but surely it is curses.
[Blogger’s note] This blogger’s dog-life with collies has never included Great Pyrenees a herd guarding breed so I sought help for dog training possibilities from a cousin and friend in Texas who works with SPIN Rescue.org. Look for her tips on training these magnificent dogs in the notes used with tomorrow’s blog.