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November 16, 2009

As I drove home from Billings on Saturday afternoon, watching the coal trains chug along the highway, it occurred to me that I feel much more connected to the world as a whole than I ever did living in Philadelphia.

One would think that living in as rural an area as southeastern Montana would leave a person feeling less connected to the rest of the world, not more so.  But if you pause to think about it for a minute, it makes sense:  in cities, there is so much to see and do at any given moment that my mind never had to wander far from my immediate surroundings or the present moment.  In a place like rural Montana, on the other hand, the expansive horizons inspire my mind to wander well beyond the immediate and to contemplate forces much larger than myself.  The passing trucks and trains remind me of all of the resources – natural and otherwise – that flow into and out of cities, of the interconnectedness of all the places that comprise the planet.

Being in Montana also motivates me to conserve as many resources as possible because its natural beauty is something I never want to see spoiled.


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