He looked like something from a John Steinbeck novel. His brown skin was more than his heritage; he’s spent a lifetime working the fields. His clothes, while old, were orderly. He sat upon the old leather seat with honor, a proud man, like a king upon his throne that was worn into his shape from the days spent upon it.
His stoic face looked like it had been chiseled from granite and laughter was a luxury he couldn’t afford. His silver and bushy eyebrows matched his regal mustache. He wore it like he did his clothes – the type of face hair that one knows with just a glance is a pride and priority for the one wearing it.
His dark brown eyes spoke of a fearless nature through a permanently squinted perspective and fleshy ravines exploding from the edges of his eyes like rivers of a lifetime of experiences. He sat with his back straight, as if God had just whispered in his ear, “Attention!” His shoulder blades pulled back, chest jutted out along with his burrito fed belly.
His hat was the typical golden straw type of hat that couldn’t decide if the one sporting it was a cowboy or a worker, but whatever the man considered himself, he wore it with dignity and pride.
I knew we’d happened upon a man who had rarely seen a silver spoon, much less been born with one in his mouth. No – this man clearly was the type of man you could expect to spit a silver spoon out of his mouth with contempt. His was no easy life, but easier now than when he didn’t sit upon his seat. He bounced upon his seat like riding a horse. The silver-haired king didn’t fight the horse or machine, he knew when to use muscle and when to roll with the forces. It was instinct for him now – like breathing to you and me.
Initially, I had no reverence for the man – I’d made the mistake of thinking that I was the king of the road, but it didn’t take long to realize it was his road… I waited patiently behind the farmer as he rode upon his throne pulling the small trailer behind his tractor. When I pulled around him I turned to see the stoic king again – no emotion… he’d seen it all before. There would be no surprises in the silver kings world.
Just as I’d gotten around the old guy I was stopped short by a stop sign and fate. After stopping I hesitated, watching the granite faced king in my rearview mirror and even until he pulled up along side of us to turn right. I was captivated by the man of old and waited to get a closer glimpse of him as he rolled up to not quite a stop.
As I gazed upon the man and his throne, he looked back through me… looking at nothing yet seeing it all… Only royalty has that gift… The regal farmer reminded me that it matters not what we do, but how we do what we do…
Sometimes you can actually see honor…