Meet You in McGinnis Meadows


Meet You in McGinnis Meadows

Lessons in Attunement

By Scott Miller, Brooke Mathewes

January/February 2020


Jessie didn’t choose this life. She was born into harsh circumstances. Growing up in a rural Western desert town, separation and loneliness were what she knew best. The basics—food, water, shelter, safety—were always in question. Family life was also a struggle. Her parents and siblings were constantly moving from one place to the next; that is, until her mother was killed in a brutal and unexpected attack. Then the family was split up by the authorities. One brother was shipped off to California, the other farther north. Jessie was sent to live with other displaced orphans—a spot known to locals as the Lockup. A more apt description would be the Wild West.

Although food and water were plentiful, power struggles, bullying, and physical altercations were constant occurrences. In time, Jessie learned to use her small size and agility to surprise her opponents with powerful kicks, and she moved up the pecking order. The prize was isolation, a quiet spot where, outside of meals and activities, she was left alone, unbothered by the other residents.

At this point, many professionals might label Jesse “institutionalized.” Truth is, as lonely as she seemed, she’d grown fond of the place. Idyllic? No. But it was the first stable home she’d ever known. She’d even earned a degree of respect among the staff. “As long as you give her space,” they’d say, “she won’t give you much trouble.” Eventually,…

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