My Great-Great Grandmother, Thisbe Reed, was one of the early Mormon pioneers who persecuted. They fled everything they knew and loved, into the western frontier, so that they could live life on their own terms. This was a profound act of Soul Anarchy.
They encountered many problems along the way, most notably, a very early winter blizzard in eastern Wyoming – a terrible place to get stranded. They found a cove to take shelter in, waiting for winter to pass, rescuers to find them, or death to come.
The last two things happened. Many died, and rescuers did come. Thisbe was among the rescued. My great great grandfather, Ephraim Hanks, was among the rescuers.
Though I don’t participate in organized religion anymore, I’m honored to descend from people who had such conviction and determination to live life on their own terms. The cove where they took shelter is now called “Martin’s Cove”.
I took a few hours to hike in and commune with the echos of my family’s past.
Prior to the trail head, there is a visitor’s center with art depicting the various sufferings of the pioneers, most notably, burying their dead in the frozen ground.
As I walked through that sacred ground, a thought passed through my mind:
While it’s easy to prop these people up as heroic and larger than life, they didn’t think of themselves as heroes. They were just normal people, taking life day at a time, who had the guts to do what they felt was right that day. That’s all. Though their challenges look different than ours, on some level, they aren’t that different. The human dilemma of acting on truth vs acting on comfort is timeless.