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Landlocked

July 14, 2009

It continues to amaze me how much I feel as if this southeastern Montana land is, and always has been, a part of me.  How can it be that it feels so integral to my being when I’ve been here for such a short time?  When I walk the hill behind my house at dusk and breathe in the pine and sage, feel the hard earth under my feet, gaze at the red rocks reflecting the setting sunlight, I feel as if there is nowhere else I could feel quite so at home.  It’s not just that I’m surrounded by nature, or that I can be around horses, or that I’ve landed a job that I love; it’s so much more than that, something that I feel here that I’ve never felt quite so strongly before:  the desire to sit and stay.

Sometimes I think that the saddest thing that could happen in my life, aside from losing someone I care about, would be for me never to be able to climb that hill again.  I know I will probably leave this place some day, if for no other reason than I can never own land on the reservation, and I will be okay with doing so if and when the time comes; but I would be heartbroken if something prevented me from being able to return and hike Charging Horse Hill now and again, or to ride horseback through the hills of Busby. 

Perhaps it feels like home to me here because this is the place where I found as much peace in myself as in the landscape.  It’s a place where I have finally found myself able to live without longing for more than I have right here in front of me – a dog, a horse, a house, a community, a hill – because these are all the things I’ve ever really wanted.  Anything else that comes along will be a bonus, an extra gift that I will try my best to cherish and share as I try to cherish and share what is before me now

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