Reflecting on the Time of Our Lives

Ideas and Issues Personal Writings

IMG_5614Rock Creek   I had lured a number of family and old friends and comrades up to Rock Creek to celebrate the rough anniversary of 45 years of my work as an organizer, as well as an upcoming birthday.   Fortunate enough to have a Katrina Airstream planted along this beautiful river in gorgeous country in the Sapphire Mountains of Montana, thanks to the good graces and generosity of another old friend, my real motives were to find a way for them to share some of the bounty of this place in hopes they would find excuses in the future to return year after year, whether we were here or not. 

            Talking over coffee at first light with Dan Russell, a friend from high school days, we found ourselves talking about the birds along the Creek and a garden still not built on our high school grounds celebrating diversity, and wondering what was up.  Talking with Mike Gallagher and Margaret Reid, we found ourselves laughing at their experiences with a houseboat.  Sarah Siskind told us about the frustrations of being a class action lawyer handling cases year-after-year and how to find any judges anymore with the courage and energy to look at the law.  Taking the opportunity to do three interviews for Wade’s World on KABF, I interviewed Joel Rogers about our time with the New Party, Drummond Pike about our time with the Tides Foundation, and Mary Rowles about the challenges of the Canadian labor movement.   Pike was not optimistic about current philanthropy and its aversion to risk, which also means its real commitment to making change.   Rogers was engaged in progressive policy but seemed to recognize more options than the will to achieve them.   Rowles was in mourning over the NdP’s loss in the British Columbia elections, but could make do if things got no worse.

            My daughter, Dine’, in no uncertain terms schooled me on pre-cooking the onions before throwing them into the scrambled eggs in the morning and even how to properly break an egg, both were lessons I did not realize I needed, but after the first blush of embarrassment, deeply appreciated receiving.   My son, Chaco, answered the call immediately for help pitching a new tent to folks not used to life outside a city.   At my daughter’s suggestion, we all took a hike for no other reason than the fact that our family had done so last year on Bear Creek, so this year we all went up Welcome Creek to keep faith with what she felt should become a family tradition.   It was beautiful in itself and wonderful to step aside and watch the hiking conga line of a score of friends and family sharing this bounty.  Writing this I can hear the laughs and conversation as everyone pitches in to get dinner together.  Later there will be more conversation.   More knowledge and information shared on a short cut here or a website there.  There will be music and singing, beer drinking, Jameson’s, and a handle of bourbon.

            It’s hard to adequately describe, though I wish everyone could be here or somewhere, sometime, like this to enjoy the time of our lives and reflect on how special our time here is and why we have to work hard to both make it count and enjoy every minute, as I have been fortunate to do in my work and life.