By Margaret Magnus
Meher Mount was officially closed that day but the gate was open, and the visitors came in anyway.
In August 2009, my husband Sam Ervin and I were acting as temporary Manager/Caretakers for a few days.
It was a Monday or Tuesday when Meher Mount is officially closed. However, we were going to run some errands down the hill, and we had earlier opened the front gate for our departure.
Meanwhile, back at the Visitor Center/Caretaker Quarters, we were busy and not expecting visitors, so we weren’t watching for them. Somehow a couple of visitors slipped by.
SURPRISED TO SEE VISITORS ON A “CLOSED” DAY
As we were leaving, we were surprised to see a Mercedes Benz in the parking lot. I jumped out of the car to go find the visitors and tell them that they had to leave.
Coming toward me on the pathway to Baba’s Tree was a woman carrying a young child. My heart melted. I wasn’t going to shoo her away.
As she approached, she said, “I know you’re closed, but the gate was open, and my husband needed to spend time under the tree.”
TIMEOUT AT MEHER MOUNT
As she told the story, her husband was Consul General for a Central Asian country and stationed in Los Angeles. Several years earlier, a friend had taken him to Meher Mount. He had remembered how peaceful it was, especially the atmosphere under that special oak tree.
They were on their way to a conference in Santa Barbara, and even though the timing was tight, they had decided to take a “detour” (about an hour each way) to visit Meher Mount.
Her husband’s job recently had been so stressful, he just had to have a half hour of respite and rejuvenation under “that tree” (Baba’s Tree).
By then, he had joined the conversation and was vowing to return when he had more time. We talked briefly, and then we wished them well and sent them off to their conference.