By Hans Woodman
This is about gratitude. This subject came to my mind when my brother and I were hiking in the mountains after Kung Fu camp. The mountains Baldy, Bellnap and others were towering over us in majesty and terrible beauty. The forest was all around us and all kinds of flowers and life we saw.
After a bit Adam and I ran out of water. We felt the first effects of heat exhaustion coming on. We were dehydrated, hot and dizzy. We began to go back as fast as we could but water was more than 12 miles away.
We made it to the top of the saddle between Baldy and a mountain covered in amazing rock pillars. There we were on the top of the world looking down over the millions of trees and rolling hills that made up the remaining 6 miles.
I admonished Adam to push on and not pass out or anything. He then turned to me and said. “This hike brings new meaning to Hann. He was in the same situation, when he came out of the mountain as we are, except we know where to find water, we have a car to go back to and he didn’t. We have a home to go back to and he didn’t. He was a complete wonderer and yet he was completely thankful just to see what we see every day.”
It is true; no man would at that moment trade spots with him. He had nothing yet he had obtained everything. Dro and Hann gave everything just to see what we take for granted every day.
Both of us started tearing up at the thought. We were in the most beautiful place on earth. Some of the tallest mountains in Utah surrounded us. Forest and plants filled the place with life. Hann had done so much just to see what we saw so easily.
When Hann was in the caves Canada gave him a single piece of life or a branch from a tree. Hann prized this gift above all material things, and now we were surrounded by countless trees with hundreds of branches.
Veritans should remember and never forget Veritanism is a movement of thanksgiving. As my brother and I made it back we sat in the shade and sipped our water slowly and ate Vienna sausages with mustard on bread. Then I thought this about Hann again. This would have been a kingly meal to him surviving off cave lizards, salamanders and mushrooms.
Than Adam and I talked about how after Hann left the caves and desserts, how he saw things we only dream of on the voyage with the Titans. “He deserved it more than anyone,” I said, “Because he sacrificed everything in the attainment of knowledge.”
Then we talked about how there are people who are born in the outside world but always take it for granted. They live in a disconnected society but never leave. They live and die never knowing how great the gift they have is. Likewise our ancient ancestors lived a much richer life always hearing the stream, dancing and singing around the fire; being connected with every movement of weather. Yet we have even a greater chance to feel the magic and power of the forest as we have the chance to escape our light minded society and see these things in light of a new yet older world.
Adam said. “It is amazing how the knowledge of Hann has come to you. It seems like we are almost unworthy to have it.” Then I said. “Yes we are, but since Hann ascended greater than we, it has become his right and privilege to reveal it to us. And none can take that right from him for he is the teacher.
Than Adam picked up a piece of shale from the hill side and said holding back tears, “Only if Hann could see this. That the walls of his prison are in pieces on the hill tops.” Then I responded, “He has seen it Adam, he has.”
In conclusion I say to all Veritans and all the ends of the earth. Read Expedition and Voyage of the Titans and this time through think of it in the contexts of all you have and have been given. Be grateful for all the bounty of the earth and please do not take it for granted. The Veritans are a grateful people.