Yesterday, I spent the entire morning examining the course of my life, with the help of a dear friend in Reno, and while writing my post about Day 5 of this return trip.
Since Penny passed, I have been occasionally influenced by friends and family to attempt certain ventures or go in a certain direction. Yet what remains most important to me is my relationship with the Creator. All else needs to be weighed against that. It follows that, since God and Baha’ullah value family, an ordered but inclusive society, based on justice and the unification of the entire planet, people need to follow certain basic rules. We tend to not like rules. They make us uncomfortable, often require sacrifice of individual wants, for the common good and sometimes appear, on the surface, to be at variance with individual freedom.
I long ago came to the conclusion that no freedom is without serious cost. On planet Earth, and probably elsewhere in the Universe, wherever there are sentient beings living together, there is a medium of exchange. Actually, there are several, money and barter being the pecuniary ones. Courtesy and reciprocity are the social ones. The medium of exchange between Creator and created, in my humble opinion, is the Creator gives us nearly limitless resources, opportunities to grow spiritually and boundless love. We, in turn, listen to His Messengers, follow certain rules and desist from whining, cursing and rebelling when things contrary to our wishes are mentioned in those rules.
All this, and more, came out of the conversation I had with my friend, Michele, yesterday morning. Had her husband, Tom, not been working, and been present, he would have most likely concurred with us. Obedience to the laws of the Universe imparts benefits, personal growth and long-term happiness. Rebellion and “the insistent self’ impart angst, doubt,depression and near-constant anger. We have free will, though, so we get to choose which of the two paths to follow, and God won’t decide for an individual which path he or she walks. Most of us dovetail between obedience and rebelliousness. I know I have, and I also know which path has brought more satisfaction to my life.
So, that was the upshot of our discourse. Having found this a lot more satisfying than a circumnavigation of Lake Tahoe, I leave that lovely spot for another journey. The road yesterday afternoon led east, across the Great Basin of northern Nevada. The beautiful spots in this sparsely-traveled area are largely in the interior, south of I-80. Most of the countryside along the Interstate looks like this:
It has its own vibrancy, though, this seeming wasteland. The people here are self-reliant and live by the type of sentiment I saw posted in a restaurant in the northeast Nevada commercial hub, Elko: “The best place to be is together.” I would say that’s true, both in terms of individual sensibility and of social connectedness. It has its water sources, like the Humboldt River, and the Truckee.
I heard Basque men speaking in their unique and melodic language, and found out what happens to pigs who attempt to fly. They become marvelous tasting pulled pork, like the kind served at Flying Pig Barbecue and Pub, in Winnemucca. ( I misread the sign last night- and called it “The Pig Barbecue”.)
En route to Elko, I passed by Battle Mountain, a testimony to the struggles between the Shoshone and the Euro-Americans in the latter part of the 19th Century.
In Elko, I found a clean, friendly and eclectic community. The Hall of Justice is its most prominent building.
Elko has its share of casinos and some hidden gems, like the restaurants on East Fifth Street, of which I chose Mc Adoo’s for breakfast, on this morning of Day 8. The little sign in the photo, and the aforementioned quote, say it all about this unassuming little nook and the lovely couple who run it.
The chalkboard says “Happy Fall”. Same to you, Elko! 🙂
Next up: Day 8- On through the Great Basin, to Salt Lake City.