My birthday is next week, a day I spent in the ICU four years ago. Over the course of that horrific year it increasingly looked like I’d spend the rest of my days sitting hooked to an oxygen tank.
This year, yet again, I’m given the gift of life.
In addition, Mother Nature arrived bearing gifts that left me breathless for only good reasons for a change. Sure, I didn’t venture far from the car and my one short jaunt to the water’s edge reminded me that I do have my limitations, but thankfulness held my hand and I was okay.
What a day!
Barely a cloud in the sky. The temperature a comfortable 70℉ (21℃). Barely a hint of a breeze. The deciduous trees gaining leaves. The air rich with pine, cedar, and who knows what other flora that was adding to that exquisite aroma.
Yes, I was breathless.
It was a day when I should have been working, of course, but this was what I moved to Montana for and finally my availability stumbled upon good weather on a day when my resistance to travel was low. Over 35 years ago I first saw Flathead Lake and the Mission Mountains and seeing it again more than lived up to my memories.
I was a troubled, struggling teen then and though I returned this day a physically damaged adult, the heart, soul, and mind that stood on that shore have regained the best that youthfulness has to offer.
Over the course of many hours I circled the entire lake and at the point I turned south I was within sight of Glacier National Park and only about an hour’s drive from the Canadian border.
Western Montana. I call it home because it’s where I chose to make my home.
I’ll let the pictures say a few words now…