16. Mountain Wisdom

Those mountain people are strong she said, and she smiled as she opened her car door to leave.

I smiled, too, and headed for another corner of the parking lot.

It was true. It is true. And it’s a connection we share, Kara and I, that transcends the little bits of time we’ve spent together. I recognized it the first moment I met her, following a speech (it was a panel discussion, really) during which I mentioned growing up in the mountains of Southwest Virginia.

You’re from Wise she said, approaching me at the meeting’s end. Kindred spirits I knew, simply because it was a statement rather than a question.

I have family there she said.

And now her 91-year-old grandfather is in failing health, and she has just returned from a difficult visit to the hospital there. As happens in those mountains, there were magical moments—including the passing of this sage advice from him to her children, his great-grandchildren.

“Learn all that you can, with your eyes and ears wide open, and your mouth closed.”

A fine lesson for us all.

30 Days of Grace II

 

3 thoughts on “16. Mountain Wisdom

  1. My mother’s father, a grandfather I never met, passed along this bit of advice,”A still tongue makes a wise head.” Why is it so hard for me to get this one right?

    1. I can’t think of a nicer compliment in the world. I will live off this one for a long time, my friend!

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