Arts Lab Writing            The Arts Lab: Writing            Arts Lab Photography

My Village
by Nevada Kerr

This place is mostly untouched, unspoiled, uncivilized and rural. It has not been overwhelmed or destroyed by tourists or yuppies. It is true some people are trapped here and can't afford to leave but there are also many who have lived here for generations and despite the hardships choose to stay. They have been to other places and always return. They prefer this place in spite of or because of it's challenges. Many choose to come here from other places and consciously, intentionally and purposely make this place their home.

There are a wide variety of people here: Anglo, Mexican, lone cowboys, ranchers, families, the rich, the poor, transplants from California, from the South, from all over the country. Each decides their own fate. They come for the beauty and are enriched by the openness, the isolation, and the lack of civilization. They hike, bike, climb mountains, hunt, fish, and camp out. They do not feel deprived; instead they cherish the absence of malls and chainstores. They do not want this place to turn into an ugly tourist trap. They do not want the forests destroyed.

Probably because this place is overlooked, forgotten, or neglected or appears undesirable for many, it has been able to preserve it's beauty and bounty and remain relatively unspoiled for generations. There is always an opportunity to focus on the despair and depravity of gangs, drugs, poverty, and welfare addiction but I choose to see the good, the bounty and the joy. My soul is content within and I have the power to transform the outside from within.

Other people's troubles inspire me to be grateful for my own bounty. Only an extreme poverty of spirit would inspire contempt for other people's afflictions. Perhaps the external, material deprivation here magnifies the internal emotional and spiritual emptiness of the average American. I am overwhelmed in a very positive way by the openness, the beauty, the mountains, the generosity and kindness that has been bestowed upon me by the people of the village.

Many people here are grateful for what they have. They are uplifted by their faith in God, the bounty of the land, the beauty of God's creatures, and their love for family and friends.

Only a spirit lacking in emotional and spiritual integrity would be driven to despair by material poverty. There is always an opportunity for uplift and day to day challenges on the physical, material plane of existence provide me with ample opportunites for joy. I am strengthened by the healing aura of the mountains and do not feel bereft at all. The sky and forests sustain and enliven me. There is no cause for panic, anxiety, or despair. I feel blessed and have more than enough to survive and thrive. I am grateful for this life.

Written by © Nevada Kerr
March 26, 2003.

Arts Lab Writing Top Arts Lab Photography
Created: April 2003 © Paul Kinder Last Updated: 18/2/03