Beyond the Build



For nearly 30 years, I have spent the third weekend of October in Buffalo Gap, South Dakota. It’s an upland bird hunting trip, which is really more about so many other things, with the hunting license being the passport. I returned Tuesday evening from my annual trip.

I’ve had a chance to view hundreds of sunsets and sunrises in my time there, as well as clear starlit evenings sitting by the campfire with friends I get to visit only one time a year. This picture is of the “Grouse Tree,” so named because sharp-tailed grouse call it home. Below its branches, some of the ranch’s best hunting dogs have been laid to rest over the years.

The ranch, and this spot in particular, have become special to me as a place of solace. As I type, I am reminded of the importance of honoring special places, seasons and traditions. In these moments, we can be thankful for what we get to experience and not worry about maybe what might have been or what we might have missed. It’s a gift.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.