Fifty-six years ago, almost to the day, I was having a quiet cup of coffee on my way home from a shooting range near a large eastern city. Without any premonition, I received what I can only interpret as a message. It was clear enough to erase all doubt, despite my attempts to bring reality into perspective. The way was cleared, and I felt an indescribable release.

I would leave my position at the bank, the boredom of the city, giving my employer two weeks’ notice to fill my place. I would gather together all that I needed into the ‘49 Mercury and head back to a new found home in the Rockies, where I had re-connected with friends who welcomed me back.

Aside from a few humps and swales along the way, which is par for the course, I found new and invigorating work. I was too busy adapting and living for second thoughts.

This experience is one that countless souls have chosen over the course of our nation’s history when the urge to move on became paramount. They threw their fates to the winds and were sustained by faith, hope and endurance when the choice was to leave all that is familiar and head out.

The memories of the early years and what they had taught have guided and sustained me. I have no regrets either way.

But, in perspective, I think I left at the right time. I was back a couple of times, but the place was alien.

There is a narrow window that may never return. It is a beautiful state, two-thirds forested with mainly second and third growth timber and a lot of history. There, I learned to feel comfortable in the outback of those dense, mixed hardwood forests and the still inaudible, long wavelength pulse of a summer thunderstorm that you could sense before you heard it.

Mysterious and electric. Tense.

Then, the woods were alive with the downpour.

Evan Tibbott


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