Montana is a week spent in a national park (again), sleeping in the freezing summer night and waking to the clouds in the trees.
Montana is a lake, holding onto my middle child and trying to apologize again and again. Sometimes so hard to parent the right way. Try so hard and still try harder.
Montana is figuring it out and moving on to skip rocks. Poorly.
Montana is climbing up to my second fire tower. Vestiges of important things hidden far away from everyone. Montana feels very hidden.
But Montana is something else too, something darker. Never before in my life did I have the desire, the craving, to walk away, like I did in Montana. Montana was the first time I felt my head turn and thought, "What if I stayed here? What if I just stayed?" We would pass through little towns and I would look at the consolidated schools and think, "Maybe they'd want a math teacher....maybe they'd want me...what could I do for them...how far away can I run?"
Montana is far enough to run. I could love Montana. I could let Montana bring me to who I am.
But Montana feels like an infidelity waiting to happen. Like, in a heartbeat I would just step out of the truck and step into something that wasn't me. But could be me. If I broke all the everything that ties me to what is important.
In the end, Montana rests, hibernating like a bear, in the back of my mind. Montana exposes me to something about me I'm not sure would be good for me, but at the same time, I want. It's like a shadow, there, and I'm glad I've been. But I probably shouldn't go back.
Have I been to Montana? Yes.