sunrise in south dakota

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

I remeber the morning when this photograph of the sunrise was taken. We were near the national grasslands of South Dakota-the wind was fierce as if we were standing on the wings of an airplane in flight. It was so strong even the Corvette’s sleek design had a struggle driving smooth. The sunrise made it difficult to concentrate on the road…the fierce and the beautiful teamed together to make us stop-otherwise we would have gone off the road
We stood there in awe of the beauty and the strength of nature.
The sun reflected off of an ocean almost a thousand miles away and painted the sky. It makes me wonder what the Lakota people must of thought as they witnessed these sunrises over and over in the days before automobile and internet and times of fast food.

I am looking out my large window at a new sunrise coming up over the same ocean-just a few miles closer than the grasslands,not as spectacular as the one we saw that day but it brings with it the second day of the new year 2008.
In my subconscious I feel as if I am at the base of a huge vessel…a bell ,if you wish-as if a large empty space is ahead of me and I can hear the echo of emptiness and see the space of the time ahead and yet feel the tug of the memories of the past year.

I suppose I’m trying to brush off the dust like a rider coming in from the trail. The last year seemed a bit trying to me-especially in the last half…but how can I divide up a year with so much that went on? My old pal Grier…the curmudgeon he was-but he was good to me in many ways which made easy to overlook the antics he sometimes took to adjust his persective on the moment.
And Wayne…my other friend-how just a few days before he died he blessed me by asking what my take on death was and what I thought would be-is there more?
My father certainly has ended my year as his life passed and the way my feelings are dealing with it have drained any motivation I might have had.
Today….not as a ‘new years resolution’-but as a way to try to fight the battle of the onslaught of my sadness,which certainly is going to bring me to a state of depression….today I am going to go outside and get onto the road and walk-and I’m going to go up almost the full length and turn around and come back.
It aint exactly the day one would want to start such-its freezing out this morning,tomorrow it is going to be worse. But if I do not face it today as planned I am afraid I will sink into a pit.

I used to walk every where until I went to the forest one day and met Rose.
After several months of being befriended by her-I was just mending from having a stroke the time I met her and was just learning how to get my footing back-she accompanied me and then one day told me she was wanted by the FBI….after that ordeal my freedom of walking on the road felt restricted.
Rose went back to prison-she had murdered a man in Maryland and had managed to escape from prison.

I realized the other night it has been ten years since I had my stroke-and it added to my thoughts of all the past year…those who have died-and as she is a murderer I have always felt I took a life too. Hers!
I wish somehow I could explain what all these things do in my heart-how small the island seems sometimes.
The irony of meeting this woman ten years ago is incredible-I had been miles and miles and lifes away from her confined in a long haul truck…yet we meet in a forest two thousand acres deep.

I have to try to stretch this island out-try to absorb some of the open space ahead. I got to put my first foot out and let my other one follow because if I don’t I’m going to get stuck in a box.
I used to be able to pray more cleaer when I walked-that came back in my memory yesterday as I spoke to my son about how when back in the 70’s when I walked the 7 miles to Archer and hitched a ride to work and how every step of the way I prayed to God my sons would have a better life then mine….God answered those prayers-and Micah and Joel and Jeff have been so blessed.
And I was telling my son about those mornings-how I had no car….and he has three now!
Not that I believe God hands out cars….but that there is this strength in lessons we are doled out and how we recieve them.
I remember so sweetly how when Jeff came to me and said I was only father figure in his life and he wanted me to know that….I told him he could longer call me Jay-he had to call me Dad.
Thats what God gives us.

My son Joel drove me to see my father the week before he died. I went in the room and saw his frail body laying there. I know he never would understand anything but me saying I loved him….he said he loved me.
It is a new year….I’m going to put the first foot out-lift up my heart and thank God for what is coming…and thank God for what has passed.

10 Responses to “sunrise…”

  1. B.J. Says:

    You didn’t take Rose’s life. She took the life of an innocent man and was mercifully spared the execution she rightfully deserved. Now, she’s serving her life sentence and being supported by taxpayer money. Who knows but your actions may have saved lives as a convicted murderer is back behind bars? Think of it another way: suppose you had not taken action and Rose had murdered again. Wouldn’t you feel guilty for the innocent lives you could’ve saved by speaking to the authorities and helping them put Rose back in prison? As it is, if she had murdered another, she’d be on death row not serving a life sentence. You may have saved her life by your actions as well as the lives of other innocent people. She forfeited her right to freedom when she murdered an innocent man. She knew what the consequences of her actions would be and committed the crime anyway. Rose has no one to blame but herself for where she is. I’m not sure if you’re feeling guilty or mixed up about the whole Rose situation, but you did the right thing in helping the authorities put her back behind bars. One less murderer is out on the streets, and that’s a good thing.

  2. B.J. Says:

    Yes, I did get your e-mail about Grandad. His passing makes me think of when my dad died. At least Grandad got to live to be an old man. Dad was only 56. It does help to know and hear your dad tell you he loves you and to know he did all along. I’ve heard you were ‘planned’. I don’t know if that is true or not, but I know Granny Jo and Grandad loved all their kids. We visited Granny Jo and Grandad our last time in the States. Grandad hugged me. I have the coffee and end tables he made here in my living room in Germany. He wasn’t very expressive, but he sure could make some really nice things. He made my cradle, my doll crib, my doll house, and I also have the coffee and end tables he made for Mum. Yes, his passing saddens me, but I’m glad he lived a long life and was able to do the things he got to do.

  3. Carol Says:

    Are you kidding me? You feel guilty for “taking” Rose’s life? She’s probably never had it so good, except that she’s unable to walk free while plotting her next victim’s fate. She’s assured for the rest of her life that she’ll have 3 meals a day, a bed to sleep in every night, heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. She’ll pay no rent or mortgage, no electricity or water bills, no car payments, no insurance payments. Since prisoners have more rights than their victims, you can bet she has access to television and all the free legal advice she wants. Ane you feel guilty. Are you kidding me?

  4. jayherron Says:

    No….I am not kidding you!

  5. Carol Says:

    The man she killed was someone’s son. Her next victim could have been your son. Still feel guilty?

  6. jayherron Says:

    indeed…for ALL have sinned and come short of the GLORY OF GOD.
    She is no more or no less a sinner than I…as long as she lives she still has a chance for redemption.
    Please read your Bible Carol…learn some things from God!

  7. Carol Says:

    And who else is included in your blanket quote Jay? How about Senator Craig – who committed no crime. I certainly believe he was soliciting sex in that men’s room, but had it happened it would have been consensual. He didn’t slam someone face down into a urinal, nor did he force himself on anyone. Do you include in your quote about redemption the men that did that to you?

  8. jayherron Says:

    …it aint my quote??

  9. rhea Says:

    Jay, you have a compassionate heart. Jesus spent time with all kinds of people during his time on earth, but there was no shortage of sinners…the absolute lowest of the low in society’s eyes. He showed them compassion, and gave them the same message of salvation that he gave to the upright, the rich, and the powerful. Through them, he worked miracles and preached his message to the world.

    How did the walk go?

  10. jayherron Says:

    The truth at last!!….and the walk was wonderful!

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