“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.” ― Henry David Thoreau
Just the other day, Chris and I loaded up the dogs in the truck bed and headed up to the cattle ranch where I work to hike its drylands and bottle feed a sweet baby calf. We nearly gasped driving up the dirt road at the aching beauty Montana bestows upon us in spring – so brilliant that you literally swoon over everything, like you’re some sorry lump of prey dropped from the talons of some lofty-winged bird, escaping with no broken limbs. Spring in Montana says you’re free again. One day is truly enough to forget a whole winter.
We did as we planned this past weekend – burned all of our winter rubbish in one smokey stack behind our home, filling the air with wispy designs like that of a morning tea. Our property was buzzing with the sound of our chainsaw and sudden thumps of wood being chopped. The grass is growing by the second between our intermittent rain and sun and all at once we are starting to daydream and ready for our home wedding this June. In the next few weeks that’ll mean: dragging the horse pastures and reseeding, finding room in our budget for a new front door, burning our ditch (an annual Bitterroot event), more barn building parties, building a new fire pit, and picking up a few loads of gravel to fill in the bare spots in our driveway.
Wedding plans aside, we’ll make time for saddling up our girls and getting them out on the trails (FINALLY)! We’ll hike with the dogs to the places we’ve suggested to our families and friends and I’ll post about their undeniable beauty. It’s funny, being surrounded – or in this case with spring finally here – being engulfed by nature, has a way of making you focus on the things that matter most, like being together with the ones you love and working hard.
It’s odd to remember ourselves in the concrete jungle, seeing each other for only a few hours a day, not being able to make anything our own and paying out the nose for all of it, feeling like another lifetime ago. But all in all, if we’re learning from where we’ve been, I’m infinitely thankful for our beginnings. It takes the rain to appreciate the sun, the winters to happily sob over the springs, the city streets to appreciate the dirt beneath my feet.