Lessons from an Old Appalachian Mountain Man

​Every morning and afternoon as i make my way to town along the long winding 2 lane mountain road that runs through the heart of these majestic mountains, i pass by a small shack that is bordered by pasture land full of grazing cattle. And like clockwork, there he is. A hearty, old mountain man faithfully working in his small, yet abundant vegetable garden. 
I’ve observed this process that began in early spring as he plowed the soil, planted seed, meticulously and faithfully weeded his little garden, and now as he reaps the harvest of his dedicated effort.
I observed as this rather stoic old man began losing weight, and slowing his pace, yet faithfully he continued with the job at hand.
I never saw anyone else with him, aside from his faithful four legged companion, by his side.
As i passed by each morning,  a quick wave and smile were my gifts to him.  There was something about this man that touched my heart. I found myself making a habit out of sending him love and a short prayer as i drove by.
Then this morning i noticed a strange car parked in his driveway, the drivers side door left open, indicating a sense of urgency. 
And there in the middle of the drive i saw a rather heavy set old woman facing the gruff old mountain man, holding both of his rugged, yet frail hands in hers, looking deep into each others eyes, tears streaming down both of their faces. 

Something about this rather intimate moment touched me deeply as i found myself tearing up along with them. I have no idea what was transpiring between the two of them, but what i did know was that love was at work here. I could feel it so deeply, a profound connection.
As i continued on i began meditating on love and the powerful effect it has on each and every one of us.  I got the impression that this man had become hardened over time, isolating himself as many do who are struggling. Yet this one, tenacious old woman took the risk. She dared to love and reached a place within him that had been closed off for many years, she took the risk believing that the power of love could break through his walls and bring healing.
How often do we dare to take such a risk? Do we allow ego and pride to take over and move along, giving our gift of love only to those who openly receive? Or do we cast aside our own pride and fear of rejection, push past moments of frustration to offer our gift of love to another, willing to face rejection time and time again for some greater good. 
I received a deep lesson this morning and i choose love. Again, and again i will always choose love.

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