I fall in love with places easily. I am rather weird about it. I either love the place and want to move there (at least for a moment) or I don’t care about it at all. What I realize about myself is that I still have trouble being content where I am. What I have also realized is that I love to travel because I fall in love with locations so easily and can see myself there. And like all traits, it is also because I don’t sit still well and seem to somehow think that my life would be better lived in another location.
Truth: I have a great life living exactly where I currently live and I am super grateful for it. And I do not want to move...yet.
I have fallen in love with Montana. It is breathtaking and gorgeous. I love the wildlife and I love the terrain. It is such a beautiful state. The people are warm and friendly. The weather is great to visit...I am not sure how much I would love snow if I had to deal with it for four months. I like the novelty of it and its beauty but I am not sure that I would love driving in it for long stretches.
What Montana helped me realize is that so long as I desire to be somewhere else, I miss opportunities to be happy where I am. So I have tried to be content with exactly where I am during this trip. No mentally traipsing off to the future where I live somewhere else and have some different life. I have, instead, tried to just be where I am, living this life that I have right now, that I happen to be so lucky as to be in Montana enjoying all it has to offer.
I have to say, it feels different and better.
Montana has helped me see that I still spend a great deal of my life grasping. Reaching for things to change the way I feel. Montana is just the latest in a long line of things, people, places and ideas.
Yesterday my daughter and I drove the 37 North to Eureka. It was a lovely drive and was spotted with way more wildlife than people which is always good for me. We met this big horn ram on the side of the road and we had ourselves a moment. He and I just stared at each other. Me slowing the car to a stop (you can do that on Montana highways...). Him just taking us in, wondering if we were going to try to hurt him. Of course, he was safe with us.
As the day wore on, I realized how lucky I was to have that moment with the ram. How many people probably travel that same highway and never get the opportunity to lock eyes with a magnificent ram on his way to do ram things.
Which enabled me to see that not everyone gets to travel with their 14 year old daughter and talk for hours in a car while we take in sights that are nothing short of spectacular. We drove with the music off and the windows down and the heat cranked so that we could experience the whole of the trip. It was awesome as we talked of nothing and everything while eating cracked pepper sunflower seeds. She is a great travel companion, most especially when both of us are not distracted by incoming calls and texts. Lack of cell service can be quite a blessing.
We are now in Whitefish for a few days and I am so incredibly grateful for my love of off the beaten path. We are staying in the middle of nowhere in a lovely Airbnb that is surrounded with snow, trees, wildlife and not much else. I am grateful for this time with her, to be restful and to really take stock in all that I have in this life. I am blessed and Montana has helped me see that wherever I go there I am...and the best thing I can be anywhere is right here, right now. This is the most magical place in life, present. I am very grateful that today my present is here in this beautiful town in a gorgeous state and I can appreciate it for exactly what it is, now.