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Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Meeting

I had a dream last night.

I dreamt that I was walking down the John Muir Trail, just out of Tuolemne Meadows.  Somehow or other, I had been separated from the group.  We were headed to Mount Whitney, and had three weeks to do it in.  I was a little worried.  Not for the amount of time I was separated from them, but because I had the food for the night's meal in my backpack.  But I knew I would catch up.  I had the sense that I was on the correct path.  Plus, it was lovely out.  I'd hear some chirping every now and then, and the switchbacks weren't that sharp.

A few miles into the hike, I spotted a figure walking towards me.  He had a scouting uniform on him, and seemed strangely familiar.  We met and began conversing with one another.  After a while, I remarked on his attire.

"Why are you carrying a fishing pole, friend?"  I always addressed new people as "friend" to relax the mood.

"I carry it so that I will teach my children to make a living for themselves.  I'll take them to work, teach them how to change a tire on the car, and how to be diligent and dedicated to their job."

"Why did you choose those hiking boots?  I've never seen a sturdier pair!"

"I wear then because I intend to do a lot of traveling with my wife," he replied with a smile.  "Wherever life takes us, we'll walk together.  I'll never love another, and I'll trust her like none other.  We'll give our time to each over, love one another, and explore together.  In fact, there won't be another couple that will compare in fellowship, joy nor family!"

I glanced down at his belt.  "What strange designs!  They look Indian.  Why does it say "TRUTH" on the front."

His visage became stern.  "One needs to live and work with integrity.  I've seen fools in high school who don't care a bit about what kind of future they're building.  I've heard of criminals running companies and not being held accountable.  But for me personally...I see a future built on integrity and perseverance.  Where workers actually trust the management and people are held accountable for their mistakes.  No one is perfect, and I don't doubt I'll make some mistakes.  Hopefully, I'll find others who will carry a vision for building this country on honesty and hard work.  Something that will be competitive with other countries and make us proud."

I laughed a little.  "You're right.  Nobody's perfect.  I hope you find the future you're looking for.  It sounds very ideological.  But I suppose we need people like you.  I'm just trying to survive high school without being bullied or getting into any fights!  Say, isn't that a bible in your hand?  I pick it up myself from time to time."

He shrugged.  "I believe in God.  I also believe in respecting every living creature.  We have to work together, and we're all part of this beautiful world."  He glanced around himself for a turn, and then added, "And it is beautiful.  Look at that view.  Think about what Muir experienced when he first came out here.  Very few trails, maybe some rattlers.  But the fresh air...the incredible view...I bet it hasn't changed much since John Muir.  Hopefully, there were fewer bears!"

We laughed a little and he replied, "I suppose we just need to stick near to our friends and not let those unruly bring us down..  By the way, what do you like to do?"

"I enjoy the outdoors.  And I enjoy music."  We talked a little about our favorite country singers, and then I asked, "Is that why you wear that cowboy hat?"

He gave a little chuckle.  "No.  The hat's to keep the sun out of my eyes."  We talked a little more, and then continued on our way...him hiking one direction and I the other.  And a midst seemed to cloud my mind.

But I never forgot him.  And I still carry something of him with me wherever I go.  I'm sure that one day we'll meet again and hike that trail together.

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