We made it back home yesterday. After winding through some of my favorite parts of America and sharing some of my favorite vistas with my family, and sharing my family with those same places, we drove into Montana yesterday afternoon, and my heart swelled to match the infinite horizons of our Big Sky home. And I tried to look at this place I have come to know so well with fresh, unbiased eyes, just as I had been taking in all the rest of the magnificent views on our cross-country loop. And for a moment, I was able to lump it in with the rest of the opulent beauty we’ve been steeping in for the last 10 days. But just as soon as I felt comfortable holding that perspective, it slipped, and I found myself secretly congratulating myself for being part of this particular amazing, gorgeous, stunning landscape.
Even though I felt in love with all that we had seen. Even though I felt mystically moved by Villa Nueva and the synchronicities involved with going there (again); and even though I felt spiritually restored by our travels in and around the Four Corners area; and even though I felt a longing to spend more time exploring the magic landscape through which we were passing; when we pulled into Montana I was home. And that feeling could not be touched by anywhere we’d been, or anything we’d seen, or anyone with whom we’d shared time and space. No where I have been in my lifetime feels so much like the place I live. And not just the place I reside, or work, or where I like to play, but where I am alive — where I do my living.
I spent much of my 20’s in wander lust. I roamed huge swaths of some of the most incredible land on Earth. And all along I felt most alive in the moving. All that time, I felt most like I was living when I was traveling to some place new, exploring things I had not yet tasted, and seeing things I had not yet known. All that time I thought home was the shell I carried with me, changing and growing, and showing itself in response to the places I took it.
But this time, on our travels, I noticed that I’m not a turtle anymore. I don’t carry my home on my back. I carry it in my heart. And that heart is inextricably woven into this particular land, this big sky, this place where I and my children have grown and loved and lived. And though I loved everything we were seeing on the road, and loved feeling the inspiration that always accompanies me in my travels, and loved giving the girls a chance to see some amazing places and people they had yet to witness there; I loved coming home more than anything else.
And when we pulled up and saw Gus standing there in the middle of our garden, I found myself breathing a little deeper and sighing a little longer, and I felt my heart settle into it’s nest and make itself supremely comfortable again. I couldn’t stop saying thank you, and still haven’t yet.
P.S. Natalie did the gallery post this time, if you want to see more pictures from our trip…