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The biggest challenge man faces today

"A Clear Mountain Morning
Of Nuclear Vision
By # JayNorth

There is something about the phone ringing at eight a.m. that makes me mindful of new beginnings. At eight a.m., my mind says, “It’s time to embrace the day.” I remember thinking that very thing one Friday morning in 1991 as the phone began to ring.

It was Leonard. He called to ask me to come over right away. Whatever it was, he said couldn’t wait. I was always excited about getting to visit with him, but it was snowing like crazy. I said, “Leonard, it’s been snowing like hell, man. Can we discuss this without me coming over? It looks pretty rough…”

The January snows in northwest Montana along the Great Divide can be treacherous, but Leonard’s tone and his way of gently commanding came right through the phone that morning. “No, you need to come right away,” he replied, and that ended our conversation.

“Pammy, I guess I’ll take a ride over east this morning. Leonard has something important to discuss, and he says it can’t wait. He asked me to come right away. Do you feel like making the drive with me?”

Pammy smiled and replied, “Jay, your time with Leonard is precious, and I’m sure he didn’t say, ‘Be sure and bring that pretty little wife of yours,' now did he?” She was enjoying this way of poking fun at me.

“Okay, but it would sure be nice to have you ride along over the pass,” I said.

She replied in a more serious tone, “No, I don’t want to interrupt whatever he has in mind for you. I’ll pack you a lunch and some coffee while you get dressed. Now you go on.”

And I did.

The drive over the divide that morning is hard to describe. There was an awesome beauty in the white treachery. January is the dead of winter in northwest Montana, and everything in sight is white, including where the road should be. In January, the elk are down low on their winter ground, but the mule deer can be a nuisance on the road. Whenever I stopped to inspect the road ahead or just to enjoy the scenery, it was easy to spot bald eagles flying overhead. That morning was no exception.

I watched closely, every movement around every bend, for mountain goat and big horn sheep at the road’s edge licking the natural salts off any exposed rocks. In January, the animal kingdom hunts for live food and high grasses, all except the bear. They are smart enough to stay home and sleep.

The snowfall continued every mile. Visibility and road conditions deteriorated, as did my pace. It made the going slow, but the drive was beautiful, and nearly every mile I was reminded of the power that made us and keeps us alive through grace.

I could barely make out the shape of the corner of Leonard’s house because of the crust of wind-swept snow. As I arrived, Leonard was bringing in wood for the night. He was a big, well built man and his strength and power seemed to be a part of his spirit.

“How was your drive?” he hollered from the corner of the porch.

“Long,” I replied, and I kicked some of the snow from under the fender as I strode across the drive. “Snow was thick up on the pass, and I had to take it slow.”

He was laughing out loud and pointing to his watch, “Slow? It’s four o’clock! Thought for sure you’d decided to camp up on the pass. Oh by golly that would have been a rough night”

I quickly retorted, “Geez, Leonard, I’m pooped. What’s on the stove?”

He kicked the door open with his boot and said over his shoulder, “Let’s see what late arrivals get.” He invited me to sit by the fire while he filled two bowls with thick moose stew. The house smelled with the rich aromas of wood fire and food.

“Bring any coffee?” he asked, knowing the answer.

“You bet. Do you think Pammy would ever forget your favorite? She wouldn’t let me out of the house without it.”

I continued, “Leonard, no disrespect, but what the heck was so important that I needed to come today?”

He answered, “Life, my boy, life. We’ll talk tomorrow.”

The morning light looked like the sun was on the third click of a three-way bulb. It was the brightest morning I’d ever seen. The sun blazed on the thick, new snow, which covered literally everything.

“Come out on the front field with me,” Leonard urged. “Let’s smoke a while.”

If Leonard wanted to have a smoke, I knew he had something of deep significance to impart. It was his way of telling me to take seriously what he had to say.

“We have a choice,” he began. “Right now, in our history on this planet, we have a choice to live or to die—and it’s up to you and me to decide if our children and grandchildren will have a place to run and to play.”

I heard a tone in his voice that brought goose bumps up on my neck and arms, and I asked, “Why now?”

What he told me nearly brought me to my knees.

“It came to me the night before last, just a few hours before I called you,” Leonard replied. “The President is going to attack Iraq in the next few days. He is going to make war against dark-skinned people of far away, and one day this will lead to many more deaths, and then he will see that the war in the mind of many of your leaders is a war inside their heads. There is no war.” He swept his arms up and out, spun around slowly in a circle and said, “One day, nuclear power will end all of this–even this very place.” mothers wedding dresses

We sat on a doeskin blanket that covered the snow on a large jutting rock as Leonard continued to describe his vision in which nuclear power was revealed to be the greatest evil on our planet. He said that even though nuclear power had the capability to end all of life on Earth, no one was talking about its danger.

He exclaimed, “The press won’t talk about it because it is not news, schools won’t talk against it because the teachers’ hands are tied. The great leaders live like kings and gods while the rest of us toil in the sun, but they won’t speak against it because their pockets are lined with gold from its potential killing.”

I began to realize the depth and meaning of what Leonard was revealing to me, and I was certain that his vision had been very specific and clear.

“One day, madmen will blow up several of these nuclear power stations, and you will find that the End of Time, which your churches, New Age people, and the Hopi have spoken of, has come to pass. We people of the Blackfeet Nation do not believe in this end of time prophecy because we have always been fighters. We believe that every man can find goodness in his heart. We have always fought for what we believed was right for The People. Now we fight with thought, spoken words, pens and education.”

He concluded his thought by bringing us back to the current day scenario. “Jay, we only have a short time to be effective in this war!” Leonard asked me again if I would choose life. I told him that I do choose life, and then he told me, “Then go out and let that choice be heard.”

Leonard’s forceful demeanor quickly changed into a serious urgency to tell others of the vision he received. He asked me, “How many people do you know?”

I replied, sensing he had more to impart to me, “I don’t know. Do you mean The People of the reservation?”

“No,” he replied, “people everywhere.”

Leonard pleaded with me urgently, “You must write to the thousands that you know, call them, go visit them, bring them the message that the nuclear plants must come down. Let them know that time is very important. My vision gave us no more than twenty years to be here on this planet if the nuclear plants remain. Jay, you are my kindred. You must go with a

message of peace and love for all the people of the planet, for people everywhere. Ask men and woman to look into their hearts, and they will see the good and will act in a way that is their true way—only good. People know the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, and they must look into their hearts and live by what is there.

“Do blow dryers, microwave ovens, and two or three televisions in our homes justify the use of this deadly technology?” he asked. “How ignorant and shortsighted have people become?”

During our conversation, Leonard spoke of spiritual things, of temporal things, and of his own personal observations. He asked that we stop seeking God, stop trying to make ourselves happy, stop trying to figure out who we are. “We already know that,” he said. “We are loving, spiritual beings here to experience life and to help others to do the same. That is our job. Now is the time to ensure the experience can go on. There is no other place for this to happen.”

There is work to do, lets get on with it!"

~The # choice to # embrace the # experience of # people and of # Life is momentarily, in all ways, yours.~