I’m home after another rejuvenating week at the beautiful health resort, Rancho la Puerta, located at the edge of of Tecate, Mexico where the motto is Siempre Mejor- always better. Last week included lap swimming, hiking, practicing yoga, eating delicious food, admiring gardens, creating art, meeting new friends, connecting with old friends, taking a writing workshop, encountering wild life, strolling along brick pathways, spending time with Joe, leading a singing class, and performing a piano concert- “Music and Stories from Westward Expansion.”
William Van Orsdel, “Brother Van,” known as the best loved man in Montana. (ca. late 1800s)
The seed I have scattered in spring-time with weeping
and watered with tears and with dews from on high;
Another may shout when the harvesters reaping
shall gather my grain in the sweet by and by.
Over and over, yes-deeper and deeper
my heart is pierced through with life's sorrowing cry,
but the tears of the sower and the songs of the reaper
shall angle together in joy by and by.
By and by, by and by
by and by, by and by
But the tears of the sower and the songs fo the reaper shall
mingle together in joy by and by.
Then palms of victory, crowns of glory,
palms of victory I shall wear.
William Van Orsdel (1848-1919), known as Brother Van, was often referred to as “the best loved man in Montana.” Brother Van, an enthusiastic singer, often broke into song during his sermons. He was a 19th century Methodist minister and circuit rider – a preacher who rode from town to town conducting church services. He tirelessly preached the gospel to congregations both large and small – on a steamboat, in saloons, in churches, and on rustic homesteads throughout the state of Montana. As a young man, a riverboat captain asked why he was going to Montana, Brother Van replied, “To sing, to preach and to encourage people to be good.”
For more about Brother Van and how he once saved his life with music, you’ll have to read my forthcoming book! I just learned that my manuscript has moved into the paging or pagination phase-which means another step closer to the publication date-early 2022.