There is a place not far from here where once the buffalo roamed.
There is a place not too long gone when once the antelope grazed.
But far enough is this place from here that the herds are no longer seen,
Far enough in the past that a fleet little deer is hard indeed to be raised.
Raised from the ashes of a time gone by, when the range was uncrossed by wires.
Raised from the dust of an age when the law was a man defending his own.
No questions were asked if one drifted in only to drift back out again.
No explanation was needed if a man did his work and left others to do their own.
Every moment in time has its own certain feel, like every day its own certain look.
Every man ever born was somewhat on his own to look at the world anew.
Now in books we hear how men saddled their broncs for a day in the saddle.
Now in movies we see what men did with their lives; they worked in those saddles.
What an exultation to life as a journey instead of a life just to live.
What wonderful picture of men and of women who never once felt
Entitled to say “That is mine” without fighting to gain it.
Entitled? Oh, no. Not if you haven’t poured out the sweat of your body,
Not if you haven’t poured out the blood of your heart.
Not if you haven’t worked and prayed for every inch of what you call your own.
Foreign? Perhaps to us in this pampered time of microwaves and light bulbs.
Foreign? Not really, if you wonder of what stuff you are made.
Think of what it was to be thrown from a horse in the wilds of Texas.
Think of what it was to set your own leg and crawl to a cave to heal.
Imagine how that time would trudge slowly and painfully on through the weeks.
Imagine what you would use for a weapon, if a bearcat found you like that.
Ponder how well a leg would heal if forced to move to survive.
Ponder how long a family would wait for you to come home.
How many nameless graves lie unmarked in the desert?
How many grieving hearts knew not what transpired
To take the loved one they had crooned to in the night;
To smother the life they once cherished above their own?
In what do we find this lust for life that lasts beyond hope?
In the hearts of those who built a nation out of the rough stones of grief,
Where hard work’s tears and sweat combined to form a mortar stronger than death.
Where future generations could lay their foundations with joy.
Hard was the life these, our for-bearers, led.
Hard was the struggle to forge it for us.
Love was their labor in giving us futures.
Love was the name of the hardships they bore.
Love was their motivation to spend long nights on the trail.
Love for their land
Love for their homes
Love for their spouses
Love for their children
Love for each other
Love for the future
Love for their God
Love for their labors
Love was the hammer that drove their many nails.
If ever there is another age of man that defies explanation,
If ever a time when Love labors so long,
I hope to be there to join the adventure,
I hope to labor in Love for another.