A Mountain In The Wind is an exploration into the spirit of a man who has and to this day continues to touch deeply the lives of millions worldwide. John believed in the oneness of all life and he reached out to all through his music. It has been said that in listening to John Denver sing, a vibration is felt which reaches deep into the soul and heart of those who are open to the message-the message of peace on Earth, of caring and sharing with each other as a family of man.

A Mountain In The Wind is an expression of love and gratitude to a man who was not afraid to take a stand for what he believed in. John was truly a mountain in the wind. He stood strong throughout his life against all the winds of adversity. This is the story of his spiritual journey that continues beyond his life on earth. This bestelling book is available worldwide.

BOOK EXCERPT: Friends From Our Heavenly Home

Our lives are influenced by economic situations, geography, career choices, physical health and other external factors often not within our control. The greatest influences - good or bad - are the people who come and go in our lives; this is also beyond our complete control.

We are born into a family which either nurtures or abuses, in a region of the world enjoying economic prosperity or poverty, in a peaceful or a war-torn country. Regardless of the seemingly positive or negative surroundings, it is the people in our lives who can have the greatest impact upon our decision to respond in love or in fear.

Choosing love will not always immediately end the suffering, but ultimately our lives will flower for others and ourselves. Choosing fear leads to hatred, rage, rebellion, anger and a life of misery.

John was quite candid regarding those in his life whom he credited with helping him choose the path he took. Somehow, through the travels an 'Air Force brat' faces, the perplexities of seeing the hateful prejudice of the deep South, the deep-rooted family heritage he appreciated, the wheat harvests and mill work where he encountered all types of people, the political unrest abroad and in the States-John emerged as a sensitive young man.

He often acknowledged the positive influence of his parent's love upon him, despite the conflicts and misunderstandings that understandably arose between different generations. His love for both his mother and father was strong. He credits his Uncle Dean, for whom he wrote Matthew, with opening his eyes and changing his life.

In his autobiography, Take Me Home, John wrote, "The world looked great when I was around Dean. I started to get a picture of who I thought I was hiding there inside yearning to come out, and that person was optimistic and positive and upbeat, a happy person who made other people feel good."

That is a description of the man we came to love-and a testament to the influence we can have upon one another.

John experienced those who loved and those who hated, those who were friends and those who were sycophants, those whose expression of goodwill was true and those who beguiled him with falseness. And through it all, he met with some authentic friends from his heavenly home.

Such a friend and mentor was the creative, compassionate futurist Buckminster Fuller, to whom John dedicated the ballad, What One Man Can Do. Bucky (as he was affectionately called by John) was an outspoken proponent of solutions for world hunger, an inventor of environmentally friendly, resource conserving construction designs; a supporter of renewable energy sources, and an innovator of ways to match human needs with resources. His life's work inspired John, and the two became good friends in their quest to make the world "better than it's ever been before," as John expressed in World Game, a song directly inspired by Bucky's approach to engaging people in a personal scrutiny of the resources, trends and needs of the planet.

John wanted to know, and into his life came the perfect teacher. Simultaneously, John was teaching millions worldwide, sharing through song what he had learned.

We are all teachers and all learners. There is no hierarchy among the family of man. John recognized all of us are brothers and sisters. He was, as many people saw firsthand, no respecter of persons. His graciousness and appreciation flowed to those he saw as teachers just as his appreciation and graciousness flowed to the millions who looked to him.

"A mentor?someone who possesses more experience, spiritual maturity, accumulated wisdom, or a combination of all three than we do," is the beautiful definition given in Kenda Creasy Dean and Ron Foster's book, The Godfearing Life. "Typically," they continue, "a mentor fuels our faith journey in intentional and direct ways and helps us discern a faithful life course?Mentors do not use their spiritual maturity as a weapon or as license to create a relationship of superiority. Instead, mentors graciously see their role as fellow travelers and offer appropriate support and guidance."

In Bream's 1979 Minneapolis Star article, John acknowledged the role of mentors: "Human beings-we're magnificent creatures. Stuff we do is just incredible. If you see somebody working at such a level of excellence or of personal commitment and wanting to do whatever they do as good as they can possibly do it, God, I want to live up to that?and I want to be an inspiration to other people?If people find meaning to me being myself or are able to relate to that some way, that's fantastic."

John bestowed the greatest compliment one can give another in his song for Buckminster Fuller when he sang of him: "A friend to all the universe, grandfather of the future, everything that I would like to be." John became that which he admired.

We are not placed here to make it alone. Sometimes a mentor may be a family member; sometimes a friend, in the deepest sense of the word; and sometimes it may be an individual we've never met who speaks to our hearts. In each of our lives there are special individuals whose love serves as an example of the best we can also be. For John, this was Bucky. Others who were mentors and friends for John include David Brower, Al Huang, Joe Henry and Jacques Cousteau. Such men fall into the category of individuals John described in a 1977 Playboy interview with Marcia Seligson, saying, "I don't have any heroes. What I do have is a sense of some people I would like to live up to. They are so real and human, so willing to share themselves that they are an inspiration to me."

For many of us, John was such a mentor. And, in turn, it is we who must be that for someone else.

The lives of those who follow their hearts, in spite of a society which stresses conformity, will contain struggle. The path is not easy. Yes, recognition as in John's life or as in Fuller's life may eventually come, but only after years of ridicule, economic struggle and emotional pain. It is hard to stand alone, but if as John sings our spirit and faith is strong, truth will prevail-and at the right time, we will discover the members of our true family. The feeling of going it alone, the realization of dire suffering in the world, the knowledge of cruelties man inflicts upon fellow man and Earth and the personal heartaches that each of us is subject to can bring the sensitive soul into the depths of despair. This is a central theme in John's music.

Songs in which he declares this deep sadness are many: sadness for the injustice and horrors of the world, sadness due to personal relationships, sadness for being away from home.

Both John and Buckminster Fuller knew the sadness, despair and depression that is found in the lives of some of the greatest artists, writers and thinkers throughout history. At the age of 32, grieving for the death of a child, bankrupt and struggling to support his wife and newborn baby, Buckminster Fuller contemplated suicide at the shores of Lake Michigan. And then, as Fuller explained, the awareness came that his life was not his own but belonged to the universe and he chose, as he said, to embark upon an "experiment to discover what the little, penniless, unknown individual might be able to do effectively on behalf of all humanity."

Sounds like a description of the visions of a young John Denver, swaying up in a eucalyptus tree, dreaming of being a catalyst for bringing humanity together to work for the betterment of our planet-and Fuller's initial despair is not unlike the despair which had brought John to thoughts of ending it all at certain times in his life.

Yet John remained ever aware of the goodness of life and never lost the realization that there are those who care. One of his deepest hopes was that his life might serve to bring others to the awareness that it is up to them. He emphasized each person is a gift, if only we realized this, we would become a gift to all we meet and in all we do.

"Is it worth it?" was a question John pondered in times of despair. Is enduring the forces of darkness targeting you because you have taken a stand for the light worth it? When so many things you've longed for have not come to pass, is it worth still trying? When you're gone, will anyone even remember, much less take it upon themselves to carry on?

We can return to a principle Buckminster Fuller originated: the trimtab-a principle John believed in. A trimtab is a tiny (miniature) rudder located on the edge of a ship's rudder. It's the pressure, small as it is, from the trimtab that pulls the rudder around. So small, seemingly insignificant, yet without it, a great ship weighing tons cannot operate. The trimtab illustrates, as Buckminster Fuller pointed out, the power inherent in the smallest individual part-the power in each of us in this world of magnitude.

"Something hit me very hard once, thinking about what one little man can do?So I said that the little individual can be a trimtab. Society thinks it's going right by you, that it's left you altogether. But if you're doing dynamic things mentally, the fact is that you can just put your foot out like that and the whole big ship of state is going to go. So I said, 'Call me Trimtab,'" Fuller told Barry Farrell in a Playboy interview in 1972.

The power of the seemingly insignificant, the power in each individual, became a message John reiterated often.

John believed if you do what you can do, and I do what I can do-together it will make the difference. For only every individual making the choice to do what he or she can will create the sustainable future and healthy environment we dream of.

The World Game, a song written in appreciation for what he learned from Bucky, says it all, "I want to play in the world game; I want to make it better than it's ever been before?I want to make sure everybody knows the score about choosing less?and doing so much more."

There remains within each of our hearts a yearning for true friends, those with whom we can share wholeheartedly and without reserve who we are and what we experience. Such friends are rare. We will not find them by looking for them; they will enter your life when you are completely centered on giving all that you can to whomever and whatever needs the special gift you have to provide.

Those closest to John entered his life as a direct consequence of his environmental and humanitarian work. The universe knows when you are ready for such friends and when they are ready for you. To have a friend for whom you can, with your whole heart, sing Friends With You is very precious.

When we dedicate ourselves to love, those friends from our heavenly home come.

Author's Bio: 

This bestselling book provides the truth of who John Denver was and how his legacy continues. It is available in bookstores worldwide, was an Amazon bestseller for 3 weeks, and can be ordered also directly by calling toll free 1-877-390-4424 or visit http://findhornpress.com/92.html OR type in the 3 words (John Denver Spirituality) on Amazon to find the book.

Christine Smith lives in a cabin high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains where she enjoys hiking and backpacking, astronomy, reading, chess, singing, cooking, gardening, and playing guitar. Beginning each day with an early morning hike, she derives her inspiration from the peace and solitude of the mountain living she treasures. She is a professional writer, environmental and social justice activist, and Founder/President of the nationwide 501c3 non-profit Dreams of Freedom, Inc. (an organization which brings the music and videos of John Denver, hygiene items, toys, clothing, and other humanitarian help to prison inmates and their families, as well as to Native American reservations, nursing homes and other places where people need hope and encouragement); it also publishes and distributes an interactive newsletter exploring topics of peace. Christine works full-time writing feature articles for national and international magazines. These cover a wide range of topics: art, busine! ss, psychology, health, environment, social justice, human spirituality, and feature profile interviews with high achievers in many fields. She host the 3rd Annual John Denver Celebration in Colorado for which people travel to attend from worldwide. For ticket information you may email her at amountaininthewind@yahoo.com