Approaching East Montana I was warned by everyone
who spoke to me about the terrain that the monotony and yes, ugliness, of the
plains – for miles and miles, hundreds of miles, would be a cross to bear.

Not so for me - I love the terrain.

Lacking the stunning beauty of Washington,
Northern Idaho and Western Montana, for me this land is God's minimalist
painting, vistas of solitude and silence. There's a rhythm to this terrain, like
the lapping of the ocean on beach shores yet with these plains this rhythm is
quieter, it's the slow, smooth, low winds that whisper through fields of wheat
and holds it's breath when the trains roll by.

For me they somehow speak of freedom– a
place free of the exotic display of the dark, mysterious and dazzling forests –
a place where going within, somehow, is all that's left. In order to love this
land of rolling wheat fields, I believe one may have to love of the inner life –
there must be a place inside wherein the removal of outer distraction is a gift
–the plains offer this – an infinite bowl of sky set gently upon a plate of far
reaching fields, timelessness holding within a nectar for the soul – this
terrain is about silence. 

I met a number of heart of America farmers and
folks from farming families – there is no distrust of strangers in these parts,
everyone is a friend.

As Rena and I pulled up to a local bar in
Rudyard, the only place open where we might get a bite to eat, 
a tall farmer named Russ walked up and patted my
helmet on the head, “Nice hat!” he exclaimed, smiling. As we stepped into the
bar another farmer patted my helmet and exclaimed, “Nice hat!” just as Russ did,
these folks were friendly, warm and welcoming, I felt completely at ease.

They were all very receptive to the information
as well and I discovered the obvious, that these little towns are all
interconnected, socially; for instance these farmers knew the fire chief I spoke
with in the previous town of Joplin and I realized as I sat there drinking a
Coke that the information we had offered was going to be circulated by word of
mouth throughout these farming communities and that some of these dvds would
circulate as well – when I offered a dvd to the bartender she just waved me off
with a friendly smile and said, “Oh no – I'll just borrow Russel's.

We gave a lot of dvds out yesterday and folks are
receptive to them – it's a warm feeling, treking through these farmlands,
feeling one has carried the message of the experts and made a few friends as
well.

In the early evening, riding along Highway 2 as
the sun set below the horizon, I felt awed in that simple, subtle way – the way
one feels when someone offers just the right kindness at just the right moment –
as the sun disappeared a pink halo emerged, around the entire expanse of land, a
ring of warm rose crowned with a saffron golden jewel - the last remnants of the
day's sunshine.

Last night the stars filled the sky with the
pulsating richness of the galaxy; so bright they were entrancing and the
stardust of the Milky Way seemed so close one could actually reach up and
touch it.

We slept behind the shed of a kind woman who
permitted us to camp on her property – we just couldn't make campsite and yet,
the experience seemed to be just the way the universe had planned it.

I'm beginning to learn a deeper level of
understanding the serendipity of the universe, the natural order that reaches
into one's life if one will listen – I hope so anyway.

The trek is restoring my faith in humanity –
people are ready for these truths and while I may never see the direct results
of our efforts, I have faith in the growth that will surely come from the seeds
being planted.

8/20/2012 03:24:09 am

The wide open spaces have their own special beauty.

I've created a website to document simple good works, and your journey is the first example. http://simplegoodworks.blogspot.com/#!/2012/08/renapam911journeyfortruth.html

Safe travels

Reply
Pamela Senzee
8/20/2012 03:19:08 pm

Thanks so much! Safe journey for you as well...am reposting simplegoodworks on my FB...please keep in touch!

Reply
Earl Erickson
8/20/2012 10:16:28 pm

Once again, a very touching blog, Pam. The vastness and silence of Montana east of the divide has a way of leading the traveler to the vastness within one's self. And the natural straightforward honesty and kindness of the people who live there is a real affirmation of the goodness of humanity.

Reply
Phillip B.
8/21/2012 02:42:32 am

Pam - The "work" that you and Rena are doing has had that unexpected effect on me as well: I have felt, like yourself, a subtle restoration of faith and a semblance of hope in humanity. It's hard to explain exactly; the eloquence of your geographic descriptions are part of it, but also the testimony of remaining goodness witnessed in the hearts of people along your pathway. I am continually blessed and amazed at the journey you two are engaged in. Keep up the excellent work. Peace!

Reply
9/18/2012 07:41:39 pm

even if they had a beautiful engagement ring.

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