Saturday, March 23, 2013


Sabbath morn
Irrigation pivots needed turning off around midnight. Stopped sooner, they wouldn’t have completed rotation. But I couldn’t stay awake last night; instead I opted to allow them to pass slightly beyond the start point. I arose early to shut them off and now I am left fully awake with nothing to do.

Not exactly honoring the Sabbath, I suppose. I've given up practices once prescribed for the day; about the best I can manage is to mark its passing.

In a trailer, not fifty yards from where I write, sleeps a modern day saint. I’ve written of him before, first in Ruminations from the Garden, and then later in a post describing how he was shot multiple times in that same trailer, miraculously surviving the attempt to take his life. He goes by the name of Manuel.

Manuel is a seer. Some might say a prophet. Some might say a crazy man. In these times, all these can and often do go hand in hand. But Manuel’s not the same man he was before he was shot.

Manuel is out on bond, awaiting charges for the event that almost killed him.
The story is complicated, and I won’t go into details here; suffice it to say that I think the law has charged an innocent man. Manuel's accuser is a liar. Perhaps the shooting was accidental, the result of being awoken while in a drug and alcohol induced state, an excusable offense when it happens in the privacy of your own room, but the minute the lie was formed, a crime was committed, exceedingly worse and far more willful than the original event.

Meanwhile, Manuel spends his days seeing to the needs of our farm and a menagerie of assorted animals and plants. He does not only what I ask of him, but more, proactively trying to make this a better place for all. The cattle, hogs, goats and chickens know him as their provider, and eagerly await his arrival each and every day of the week, regardless of the weather. I routinely find sign of his passing, disappeared trash or discarded limbs, something broken mysteriously fixed, a plant watered, weeds dislodged, ground tilled, produce harvested.
He’s frugal with his money, rarely indulging himself, instead, sending money to his wife and an ailing mother in Guanajuato.

I made Manuel’s bond; at his insistence, he has repaid every dollar. He sends $50 a month to the military hospital that saved his life, and to the life-flight company that whisked his body away on that fateful night.
I fear for a country, for a people that would charge such a man with a crime. Such misdeeds will not go unpunished.

But I fear more for the fate of my friend and his people. Should Manuel be convicted, he faces a potential prison sentence, revocation of legal status in this country and eventual deportation, while the man that shot him continues deriving his livelihood from government assistance programs. I can’t find words strong enough to describe how terribly wrong that is.

No comments:

Post a Comment