“We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us.” – John Muir
This week, two years ago, I woke up in my Queens, New York apartment and went to my agency job and left midmorning in a race to get to the airport. Chris and I called for a car – one that we’d be pushing up a hill in a blizzard about 30 minutes later. And several hours later, once the pilot skidded in sideways, we took off and the whole plane clapped and bid New York a good farewell.
Once in Salt Lake City, we bolted through empty airport terminals, gate after gate whizzing by, until we made it to our connection flight where all the first class passengers starred us down with their half empty drinks and debris from a meal already consumed. But there was one plush seat left, one with my name on it.
We had made it to Montana miraculously, the first class upgrade being an added bonus (wahoo!). The days that followed were filled with filming, house hunting, marveling, more marveling, and devising a plan that would get us back here as soon as possible. Isn’t it a wonder how a few days can change the course of a life?
Today I sit in my room with a view at my new desk that Andrew has kindly built for me. It is a place where I can see his and my mother’s tiny home and my horses – a vantage point that may have been a fleeting, idealistic thought when I was younger. This room is much different from the windowless apartment that Chris and I first started living in together, and the underground subway we took to our 50 hour work weeks, and the interior offices from which we ventured just to see what the weather was like.
It’s been fun rediscovering things I thought were lost or memories of pages I’ve read or written. I was riffling through a box when my mother came to see how the room turned out and I found Chris’ elementary school year book – also the same school I went to. I just finished reading The Magnolia Story, written by the Fixer Upper couple, Chip & Joanna Gaines. She spoke to my heart when she recounted how her journey unfolded – how her prayers to God materialized into something much more than what she could ever have imagined. I believe that. And as I sat there looking at little Chris next to his classmates I thought, I can’t believe I was just a few classrooms away. My soon-to-be husband had passed my mother or father picking me up from school probably dozens of times. Our parents may have even met before, without any of our knowing. And here we are.
From this room, I’ll write this year’s magazine stories. I’ll write blog after blog in this space in my home. We’ve been joking about having the greenest grass and stronger roots after all of this snow dissipates, having survived one of the coldest winters since the 1800s. I jog downstairs to ready for evening feeding and I see my plant with its leaves stretched outward toward the window. When the sun comes up tomorrow the plant will grow and pull itself into the light without worry. This week I’ll buy it a bigger pot and let its roots grow deeper.