By Ray Johnston, Manager/Caretaker (2002-2005, 2006-2010)
For years I have traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico, as part of my work. And for many years I have also searched for and enjoyed high quality honey and bee pollen from all around the world.
Several years ago, I experienced how Meher Mount was the common denominator for both and for so much more in its capacity to draw people and things together into its Divinely orchestrated orbit!
HIGH QUALITY HONEY AT THE SANTA FE MARKET
During one of my visits to Santa Fe during my time as a Manager/Caretaker of Meher Mount, I visited the weekly outdoor market. I happened to see a vendor with various types of unique, local honey and bags of pollen whose color and energy was extraordinary. I immediately bought quite a bit and carried it back on the long drive back to Meher Mount.
Each year I returned to buy more and eventually met the beekeeper, Gary, who gathered the honey and pollen. He was beelike himself with large clear eyes, transparent skin, and full of movement and energy.
On one trip he informed me he was moving to Australia to continue his work with bees there. In a panic I asked him if he knew where I would be able to find anything similar to the kind of honey he produced. Sadly, he did not.
WHERE IN CALIFORNIA DO YOU LIVE?
But Gary asked me where I lived in California so that he could refer someone there perhaps. I replied “Oh, it’s a small town. You probably don’t know it, Ojai.”
He replied “I know Ojai! Where in Ojai?”
I said “Oh, a place I am sure you’ve never heard of on Sulphur Mountain.”
“Hey, I know Sulphur Mountain! Where on Sulphur Mountain? I used to spend time on the property of Agnes Baron!”
“On Meher Mount? That is where I live now!”
INSPIRED UNDER BABA’S TREE
Then he told his story: He had been at a crossroad in his life in the 1970s and not sure what to do. During a visit to Ojai, he inexplicably ended up going to Meher Mount (as many do), meeting Agnes, and spending some time alone under Baba’s Tree.
As he was sitting under Baba’s Tree – the Coastal Live Oak on the brow of the hill that Avatar Meher Baba sat under during His 1956 visit – he looked up. In the tree, bees were swarming about a beehive that was imbedded in a hole in the tree.
Gary said it was a powerful image and voice within that spoke to him that said beekeeping was his direction! He dedicated the remainder of his life to beekeeping in the Santa Fe area and became famous there for his high quality bee products.
I often thought of Gary in my years at Meher Mount. Each year, when in Santa Fe I returned to see him and buy honey. I always took news and photos of Meher Mount to share with him.
THE BEES RETURN TO MEHER MOUNT
One spring I returned and his wife informed me that he had passed recently. I missed Gary and his Meher Mount inspired products!
That same Spring I remembered his story and Meher Mount’s influence when I saw the bees return to the hive high up in Baba’s Tree for the first time during my long tenure.
I had been traveling to Santa Fe from Meher Mount for years because of the connection and powerful link and influence Meher Mount emanates in so many hidden ways. Visitors to Meher Mount today are still inspired and transformed by their time there.