There came a Moment then, as there always does. The whole point of all the faith and prayer and discipline of kindred such as the Old Order and the Quiet Way, is that it bears fruit of skilful means in detecting such Moments. In every discord, at regular intervals, marked by impasses at first small but exponentially growing (like Fibonacci’s rabbit population) with every Moment passed, come Moments that are opportunities for peace. The reason they are so often passed and ignored, until irritations flare into arguments and disharmony entrenches into feuds and discord becomes all-out war – is because these Moments cannot be entered but by humility.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” shot Flo. And in the fractional silence that followed her challenge, Eb understood the earth was offering him a Moment. Because he had been raised in the Old Order, and brought up to manage peace as surely as a potter handles clay, it was closer than second nature to him to enter the Moment gratefully. This, he knew without doubt, was what had to be done.
He remembered Harold Whichart speaking in a long Sunday preaching, about the gentle art of human relationships, quoting Mark Webb to them You can’t be right and be married. You have to decide “Do you want to be right or do you want to be married?” And Eb, even though in the last few minutes he had felt more bewildered, irritated and out of his depth that he could remember in a long time, knew that even so, he did want to be married.
So he looked at the ground and allowed the Moment to touch him as he entered into its peace. Then he said, quietly and humbly:
“I don’t know about Fibonacci, Flo, or any of those things. I’ve never learned about them but I’d like to learn. I hate rabbits, because I work so hard, and they just move in and take the harvest of my labours, without even asking. But please don’t let’s argue. Can I help you peg out the washing?”
And as the sun rose, together, this is what they did.