Tonight I went visiting. I went to a elders house. I`d been putting the whole experience off for quite awhile, A local elder seemed to have a affinity for me and I for him. He had invited me to visit many times but I have been hesitant, what can I have in common with with 80 something year old man who has spent most of his life on the land. Still lives without electricity, water, sewage, TV, etc, the answer is logically nothing. The answer spiritually is more than you can expect.
He lives a simple spiritual life, for the most part, if he`s hungry he goes out and hunts. If he`s lonely he visits town, If he`s in trouble he slows down and figure`s his way out.
This hasn`t been a easy year for old George, who lives in Georgetown (a local landmark that consists of one house). He had family visit in January who noticed that one of his legs was black, seems that Old George had neglected to tell anyone he had failed to fill a script, he had failed to protect his legs and had suffered through the effects. He also understated the incredible pain he must have felt as his leg died. His family member immediately had him relocated to hospital and he spent the next couple of months there, he lost a lot of weight, as the lack of country foods caused his digestive system a lot of grief.
George came back, with both legs (startling enough) and started to recover. Before he went into the hospital he was a good man, but I could still fear him, he lived by his wits, he lived on the land, he was stronger at eighty than I probably had ever been. He lived and survived daily if ... he could prove himself. I heard rumors that the town was going to force him into the old age home to protect him.
George`s family rallied around him and helped him for a couple of months when he got out of hospital, he was weak (could still probably beat me in any contest imagined) and George recovered. He still lives out of town, cuts his own wood, finds his own food (with the exception of the occasional can of snuff), he takes care of his team of dogs, and he survives. George lives in a cabin he built himself, he maintains a trap line longer than probably anyone in town (he wont talk about how long his line is, but his cheques are bigger than anyone else`s). He`s lived a wild and varied life, and you`d be lucky to meet him, in fact anywhere from ten to fifty cars pass him daily, but they fail to realize the opportunity they pass by. I hope I`ll visit again soon and he`ll (in his words) help make a Indian outta me.
P.S. Maybe next time I`ll tell you about what we talked about.
BTW--- Dad, your still my hero.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009