“’I like the mountains because they make me feel small,’ Jeff says. ‘They help me sort out what’s important in life.’” – Mark Obmascik
It is cold today, and the moisture of another storm somewhere beyond the Bitterroot Mountains is rolling over their peaks and settling down in our valley. These mountains look mean in the winter. They’re the ones that make you imagine yourself lost in their abyss and shutter at the bitter cold they hide in their layers of blue and white. I can hardly bring myself to think of them in this wintery way any longer this season because I’m here on the valley floor, clinging to a blade of dead grass, wishing it to come alive.
Montana has a way of making you feel…less significant. When people say that must have been a huge culture shock about us moving from New York, I wish I could better illustrate what the shift really is. It’s not culture. I can find that in Missoula or by attending community gatherings, which there are many. It’s an internal shift, really. To me, New York City-where we moved from-is a manmade masterpiece. Every square inch of it is not as it was before man, for better or worse. Man is top of the food chain, King and Queen, ruler of the roost.
Montana, though, is wild. At dinner last night I asked Chris, didn’t you feel like we were walking through the movie Jurassic Park when we last visited Glacier? He laughed, of course, but agreed. This place is bigger than ourselves. Our instincts are alive as we sit in Mother Nature’s palm. It leaves us praying for things like rain and snow and now, spring.
Only patches of snow survive today. The ground is a prickly caramel-colored carpet and the air smells of dirt and cows. It is heaven. Just a few days ago we reintroduced the horses to their extended pasture, aka their playground. A small, very, very small part of me will miss their fuzzy coats against the bright white of winter.