Sunday, January 20, 2013

Defending a Way of Life:

Leaving Gillette, WY yesterday the rail west heads across open country towards Billings, MT.  A quiet open road. LJ Turner's stories from yesterday ringing in my head and heart.  On any day there can be 40-50 trucks carrying unknown individuals driving across his ranch land.  White trucks with orange flags.  Checking methane wells, monitoring gas pipe lines, surveying mineral resources, building new access roads.  LJ has written letters, asked questions, searched for answers.  In most cases there has been no response, no answers to "why".  He shared his stories with me for over 8 hours without stopping.  In the moments of silence between us I felt the deepening sense of loss.  Loss of a way of life.
I followed the rail line along country roads dotted with gas and oil wells until I met I90 west. Joining the interstate I realized where I was. The Little Big Horn Battle Field.
Recently new markers have been placed in the battle field.  Markers 135 years later speaking of "defending a way of life".  As I walked across the battle field my heart was full, full with the magnitude of what I had seen, stories heard, losses shared. I thought of the stories LJ shared with me.  Stories about "defending a way of life".  What has changed?  Do we simply repeat history?  Will there be a marker one day on a WY ranch with "defending a way of life" carved into the stone?

be strong, be safe, Carlan

No comments:

Post a Comment