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Home sweet home

May 15, 2009

I spent the past week on the road, first at a workshop in Billings and then on a trip to Seattle.  I had a great time visiting old friends and seeing new sights, but when my stay was over, I was eager to get back home. 

It’s a new and wonderful feeling for me to look forward to returning to my place of residence.  Normally when I travel, I begin itching for a change in my life, for a new job or a new city or country.  The road trips I’ve taken in the past month – to Missoula, to Tucson, to Seattle – have confirmed what I’ve been feeling all year:  that Montana is my home.  The expansive prairies dotted by horses and cattle, the rust and tan-colored buttes fringing the valleys, the hand-mended fences, the pickup trucks and tractors, the tiny little towns, the friendly faces, the rodeos… I couldn’t wait to return to it all. 

Despite absolutely loving my life here on the reservation, during the past semester I had kept wondering in the back of my mind whether it was just the novelty of being here that I loved, and whether it would all wear off once I’d spent a year here and started traveling again.  But it didn’t.  I really am a country girl at heart, and I’d rather have my wide open spaces and beautiful, unobstructed sunsets than the creature comforts of urban living. 

For the first time in my life, I don’t crave traveling or novelty.  I’m happy with my biweekly trips to Billings and Sheridan, where grabbing dinner at a restaurant and a beer at a bar is sufficiently exciting.  And that’s one of the neatest things about living where I do:  life is so simple that it doesn’t take much to make me feel a thrill.  Mexican food in Sheridan.  Two-stepping in Billings.  Perching on a rock at the top of the hill behind my house to watch the sunset.  Finally, I am able to live out my adopted motto (from Gandhi) to “Live simply so others may simply live.”

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