The Place by Jerry McGowan - HTML preview
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There’s no place like home!
Beverly and I have been married nineteen years. In that time we have never had a real argument since we both had enough of that in our previous relationships to know that was not how we wanted to live our lives together. Some say it’s healthy to disagree once in a while. I think disagreements are only natural because none of us is exactly alike and disagreements often address the gift of individuality. We are all one of a kind, a treasure in our own right. A simple difference of opinion, accompanied by a willingness to talk about those differences, will almost always lead to an evolved understanding and not a roadblock. Remember, it’s the similarities that bring us together (being human); however, it’s the differences that allow for our evolution of thought and understanding to take place.
Beverly and I live each day of our walk in Montana, and we are both happier than we ever dreamed we could be. We moved into a small cabin in the middle of the forest. It’s about six hundred square feet, and although some might refer to it as minimalistic, we call it perfect! What I love most about where we live is the wildlife. Nature is so abundant here.
Also, we can’t see another home or any lights or hear any sounds, except those made by nature. If someone comes up the road, they’re either coming to see us, or they’re lost. I remember when my mom and dad came out to visit before they passed on. They were both somewhat apprehensive about our living so far off the main grid. I guess it’s a fear of being disconnected that people carry with them.
Instead of trying to keep heaven in view, older people are often more concerned about where to buy groceries or how far it is to the nearest hospital. Age can often make you see things that way. I think it’s more important to enjoy the moment, and nature has a way of keeping you grounded when you’re immersed in it.
Over the years, we’ve come to know the various animals on our property on a personal basis. When I first saw the deer we refer to as “Mom” eat apples from Beverly’s hand, I knew we were connected in a very special way. Now she comes by each morning and in the evenings, accompanied by her newborn fawn as well as her second baby, which is now a small buck. Her friend, whom we refer to as “Shy Mom,” has been traveling with her since we saw them. She doesn’t let us get close enough to touch her, but we consider her a deer friend as well. She too brings her fawns to meet us each day, and our relationship with her has evolved into a wonderful friendship. Currently there are fourteen deer who keep us company at the cabin! One can always find wild turkeys visiting, along with the occasional moose, elk, mountain lions, and bears. They all consider our place home, and they’re all welcome.
We have a small sweat lodge deep in the forest behind the cabin. You walk along a small path through the woods to get there. At the end of the path the forest opens up into the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen. The lodge itself stands among five tall pine trees that surround it. It gets the early morning sun and reminds me of the first lodge we built at the farm many years earlier. When we moved to Montana, we left the lodge behind as our legacy to the friends we met in Lodge and to all the animals that live there, including Coltie and Pengo. The teepee Beverly sewed for my vision quest stood on the farm for many years until it withered away with time.
We’ve been back only once and were happy to find the lodge still standing and being used. We have done Inipi many times since moving to our cabin in Montana. However, after many years of doing the ceremony, we felt it best for people to seek us out if they’re interested or simply happen by. It gives credence to their own personal quest. Sometimes we’ve had people ask about Lodge only to realize that particular experience is not what they’re looking for. Sometimes people just need an ear to listen to what they have to share. An open mind and compassionate heart also go a long way toward understanding.
We both know there’s much left to do before we transition over to the other side, and we will happily go whenever that time comes. We know that none of us really has a choice about that. During the interim we do our best to help make a difference in the lives of those who look for guidance and understanding while living in harmony with nature.
Whenever we travel through Montana, we are always pleased to see how much beautiful country still exists in this world. Montana is a simple place, filled with people who care deeply about their state and the people living there. Yes, they have politics; however, politics seems to take a back seat to the wonder of this place, and rightfully so. When something this beautiful is provided to us, it is our responsibility to maintain it―to keep it as pure and chaste as when we found it. So far, Montanans have done a remarkably good job with that, and I pray they continue to be clear about their priorities. I like this place just the way it is, and in my opinion, there’s no reason to change a thing! I know someday my ashes will mix with the beauty of this place, and I hope they serve to do some good. I expect this is where I will rest throughout eternity while my spirit continues to soar above the majesty of this land!