Wednesday, July 29th, evening …and yet so hard? But as I call it, “a nice hard” when I witness Ron on his own Journey for his own reasons. 6 wheels, 20 legs, 3 miles per hour, one would think it about sums it up. But it does not, as there is a man and a “kindred spirit” behind the… wheel?
Our day started back to Upper Gallatin with the intention to have a Pizza for lunch with my Friend Michael who had managed to get away from his busy work schedule… (right!). I am always in quest for the perfect Pizza since I cannot afford the round trip to Italy lately. The atmosphere just did not do it, the vibes of the incoming dough were not conductive enough to even take a stool and there we went across the street in unknown territory. I see “Bar”, I don’t drink, of course the name above it “Old Faithful” attracts me as it did the other day and, surprise, they serve food.
They are connected to the Restaurant next door being together one establishment that has been there for now 46 years, actually called “Stacey’s”. The previous owner had been serving for another 35 years and if my math is correct I was sitting in front of an 81 year old counter. Friendly, welcoming, what a great decision it was. Felt at home in no time and again it was a bacon cheeseburger, blue cheese that is, with home fries, as I am also on a crusade for “those”. This one took the Golden Award. I am done, and that is for more reasons than one. I could actually taste the goodness of the ground sirloin and the broiled blue cheese gave it that distinct fragrance that makes me quiet and involved in my consumption. This will however be my last “burger”, sadly so, unless I decide to again pay the price for my gluttonous overgorging anytime soon of another half pound of meat. The truth is, it just does not agree with me too well…
Ennis was my next destination to again meet Ron as I knew through his contact that he had found some green pasture. Michael vanished, his option to travel the short distance keeping up with my slow pace I think politely advanced some work reason to turn around. Oh! what a loss, if he only knew. The first attraction, of course, the wagon (he calls it a “camp”), the horses, the 26 years on the road living and traveling. 6 wheels and 20 legs. But throughout our first encounter I knew, I wondered, what could be on this man’s mind, the “colors” of his Soul, his “story”, we had to have something in common. Terri Freeman, the owner of “Rusty Cowboy Gallery” saw him coming into town, she is the first building on his path and right away offered him her pasture. I thought I had it hard at times! Nothing compared to the logistics he has to implement. The horses need to eat constantly, he cannot afford to buy 2 1/2 tons of hay per month or even if he could, his camp at already between 5000 to 6000 lbs cannot carry any extra loads. Amazing fact, he has never not found a spot to rest overnight, feed his horses and find that daily 50 gallons of water.
Ron is a good man, and he attracts good people around him. Terri is a good woman, a generous person and right away the three of us I can say started a memorable evening after her Gallery closing. I was given the tepee to share with Spirit for our night instead of camping, and I was elected to cook dinner in her “cozy” and “comfy” home. I mostly listened when it came to “horse talk” as I have never really know much about them, only always thought they are such awesome animals. As Terri also owns horses, I was listening them talk as I would be talking about Spirit. The names were different, the words were, but the Love was the same. We found ourselves as three kids that had not seen each other for years, and yet we had only met a while ago as total strangers. The channel got cluttered by thoughts flying in multitude of directions, all of us eager to listen and talk all at the same time about our past and present experiences. Dinner was late… very late… and not much to show for.
Strips of steak, rice, zucchinis and green peppers with a can of diced tomatoes and some onion mustard sauce. I lost that night the little talent I had left, too busy following the conversations ensuing. There was no complains but no praises either. I had failed miserably in my book anyhow… Funny how that happens. Darkness fell on us quickly, we sat back comfortably in the body conforming chairs filled with pillows and Life’s conversations came upon us.
What else has been left for us truly, as they also agreed, within this Life of ours where everything is disposable. What remains is Family, Loved ones, Friends, our four legged, sometime two legged buddies. I yet wanted to know what Ron’s thoughts have been throughout these years on those roads lonely going but never alone. “We are all in Kindergarden!”. How so? Do you believe in your Spirit? Do you believe in Spirituality? he asks me. As myself consider my beliefs being more of “touch and feel” and yet on a Spiritual path, always has been. But of course, I replied. Can you touch it? Can you give me some in the palm of your hand? No, I said. As he replied “what would make you think that as some day we will put this body to rest, our Spirit also will rest? We are only the vehicle for our Spirit in this moment we are here for, itself will go on and on, have no fear.
No foreign notion to me I told them. I believe Lance is with me everyday in many forms and shapes. He is that hawk that flew besides me, so close I could feel the flaps of his wings, he is that deer that did not move but stopped grazing and watched me go by, he is that coyote across the road with whom I locked eyes for the longest time. Ah! Trying to live in the moment, a task I battle with for the past years and years before. It is in black and white, what is past is past, cannot be changed. The future? Well, we can prepare for it but truly what do we know about that incoming minute?
“We are all in Kindergarden…”. I just cannot get that phrase off my mind. And how and where have you learned all this wise man I asked? What have been your books? What has been the names you have followed? Your teachers?… as myself I have been reading a lot for the past maybe 30 years or so seeking and seeking this balance wanting it to only tremor ever so slightly. No books my Friend. Just the road, just the days and the nights accumulating one after another showing me the path I now believe has become my permanent Life. How much catching up do I have? When will total Peace prevail? When you pass Kindergarden and arrive in first grade Ron said. And how far is that I asked? It all depends… it all depends how much you want to and can believe in the moment now present we are all the three of us tonight living.
His Home is of 6 x 12, but it is truly as us the roads traveled and the wisdom acquired time after time, 20 miles per day, as he said, he not only sees the mouse cross the road, he has time to see it take shelter in his hole. But I am so close I said, I always see the next step and I have always managed to reach it’s surface. There is no end my Friend, there is no roof top, all is infinite as our own Universe is, so there, one moment at the time, one step at the time never thinking, as I do not myself, “School will be closed tomorrow”. It never will.
Thursday, July 30th, morning. We are on our way to Nelson soon, I have never seen Ron on the road with his horses attached rolling up and down the hills in his glory. No small task I am sure. I have so much to think about as I would like to spend more time with him talking about these days of ours. I feel as him as my bright light on the horizon, I feel as there were so many reasons we have met, I feel as his words reinforcing mine will take me around this curve without tipping my balance of the moment.
A little extra “oats”… it was breakfast time!!!
Be well… always.
Your support will help us continue these endless chapters you read. It will be more than greatly appreciated.
Ara & Spirit