“Salt of the Earth” Many of you are familiar with the term, used in biblical text , it not only refers to a spiritual meaning, but has a context, too, that refers to one who is grounded, a person who respects the earth, cares for it—in short, those generations of farmers and ranchers who have sustained the temperament of weather, markets, and life itself to sustain and serve the world with crops, produce and education.
Born in in Oklahoma, I have lived all my life in a small town community in the Midwest. Much of my writing comes from my experiences living in a farm town. There is a sense of being close-knit. From the local diner where the farmers meet each morning for coffee, and where discussions revolve around the latest in model of combine or how many acres they plan to put in come spring. It’s about helping out your neighbor, oftentimes working dawn to dusk, looking a man in the eye when you shake his hand and taking pride in what you believe.
Around here, “Earth Day” is not simply a day—it’s a way of life.
A fav song on my writing playlist is the Dixie Chicks song, “Cowboy Take Me Away.” In particular the verse, “I wanna touch the earth, I wanna break it in my hands. I wanna grow something wild and unruly,” served to build the personas of my characters in this series. The song speaks to me about a chosen way of life, something that’s in your blood, part of who you are—an homage to the hardworking, resilient men and women of rural America. (*see this great Paul Harvey tribute to the farmer:
To me—ranchers and farmers are our modern day ‘cowboys.”
I’ve asked readers (probably some of you) what is your definition of a cowboy? The responses range from a man of integrity, loyalty, respectful (of women),kind to animals and children (very popular) hot bods hewn from hard work outdoors, a man you can count on and while tough as a rock, has a softness about him. (And, of course, all of my Kinnson men carry these attributes as well as look good in Wranglers, snap shirts and Stetsons!)
Here is a bit of an overview of the Kinnison series. Jed Kinnison is a successful cattle rancher in a small community of End of the Line, Montana. He meets and falls in love with a woman who steals his heart, then abandons him and her boys a year after they marry and after he’s adopted the two boys. Less than a year later, when tragedy takes the life of Jed’s sister and brother-in-law, he becomes a father once more to his only nephew. These three misfit boys, under Jed’s watchful eye and care, learn all there is to know about running a ranch, respecting the earth, and giving back the blessings, you’ve been given. Struggling to overcome their individual emotional obstacles the three grow into formidable men and when Jed passes, they are left as his legacy–left to fulfill the dream he had of making the Last Hope ranch a “working ranch” where the lost and wounded. Where, like his “sons,” those needing a place to heal could do so with hard work and the beauty of nature as tools for their recovery.
Jed and his sons are men of the earth. Their hands are scarred and calloused, their skin is bronzed by the sun. They have a respect for traditions, the mountains, woods and fields is engrained into every fiber of their being. Because they understand that when you take care of the land it will take care of you.
Celebrate this earth day by taking care of what is around you. Volunteer, if that’s your thing, get out for a walk, take a drive down a back country dirt road—or if you like, settle on that front porch swing with one of Amazon’s best-selling contemporary western romances–RUGGED HEARTS (Book I) or RUSTLER’S HEART (Book II) And get to know the Kinnison men and the women who will tame them!
I’d like to hear what the term “salt of the earth” means to you? How do you celebrate Earth day?
Make Earth day a way of life!
Blessings & cowboy dreams~
You can learn more about Amanda McIntyre’s books, and how to join her social networks at her Fresh Fiction page
Excerpt from RUSTLER’S HEART by Amanda McIntyre
(Set-up; Rein still denies he has feeling for Dalton’s sister)
“I don’t have any issues with your sister, Dal, I just can’t let her push my buttons.” He started down the lane.
“Absolutely bro, unless you happen to like it.”
Rein stopped and looked over his shoulder, the flashlight illuminated Dalton’s wide smile. “For the record, I don’t.”
His brother shrugged. “Just sayin.’ Seems like you two spend an awful lot of time sparrin’ with each other.”
“You’ve had too many beers.” Rein waved away the comment. He didn’t want to think any more about this tonight. He wanted to lose himself in his work. Do something constructive. Blow off some steam.
“I only had two and I’ve got eyes, Rein. Not sure what you think, but I can tell when a woman is interested in a guy.”
He refused to entertain the thought. Not tonight. “I’m going down to cabin three and do some work.”
“Hey, Rein, for the record. You should stop up to Betty’s and see what she’s done with the place. New uniforms, new menu, looks pretty good. Liberty has quite a talent.”
“I’m sure she did a fine job.”
“You know, you can be as hard-headed as her.”
“Kiss my ass, Dalton. See you in the morning.”
“Sweet dreams, bro. I’ll be up here in civilization, if you need me.”
He was in no mood to tolerate Dalton’s teasing. Rein trudged past her cabin, jerking his gaze away when he saw her pass by the window. She might well be talented in many ways, but the woman was trouble, a free spirit. She did not intend to stick around and that theoretically should please him, but it only frustrated him more. Dammit. He wasn’t a loner like Wyatt. He was good with people, had friends. Maybe seeing Caroline again, realizing how enamored he’d once been of her, made him realize he wasn’t ready yet for that type of commitment. Hell, maybe that was the one thing he and Liberty had in common. He had goals, his Uncle’s dream to finish. She wanted to start a new life. Neither of them appeared to want any strings.
And that scared the hell out of him.
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