Although it was quite cold Monday and yesterday, as I said, I managed to brave the cold for a good long walk around the pastures in my Muck shoes wrapped up like an Eskimo in thermal underwear and a heavy jacket, hat, gloves and my cell phone in my pocket just in case I fell on my butt and broke a bone or popped my hip out, again. (I have a paranoia about walking without my phone and upon occasion have left it behind in the house and felt so panicked that I ran all the way back to fetch it, and then resumed my walk! Silly, I know, but we have SNAKES out there!) Although the ground was wet the muddy walking path around our property was solid, not slippery as I expected, so the walk was good and very invigorating. It was grand to get out of the house. "Cabin fever" has set in now, building up inside me, taunting me with images of my ocean on the Pacific Coast, calling me to warmer temperatures, flowers and green plants growing wild along PCH and Topanga Canyon. I find that I'm most homesick during this time of year when Montana just won't let go of the winter and California is bursting with color and sunshine...and then suddenly, the subtle green of the sagebrush appears with the straw colored grasses up in the hillside as desert flowers pop up along with cactus blooms and wildflowers and as the natural, untouched, unaltered, landscape here emerges under the muted blue gray and white of the enormous sky I take a deep breath in, exhale, and stand in awe and wonder by the sheer elegance of the transforming painted sky above me with color one can only witness here, in Montana and certainly not anywhere else, least California. It's easy to be homesick this time of year during our transition into warmer days. But then again, it's also easy to come back down to the ground under my feet, in this most beautiful, ever changing picture of nature in the natural nature of things. I have learned that there is a difference between natural nature and planned nature. My eyes have fully opened now and I see the amazing beauty in the natural order of landscape with fresh eyes and better understanding.
Last night on Television we were watching America's Got Talent and during the teaser, the opening of the show, they filmed footage of Tampa Bay Florida as the camera zoomed into the city from the Bay. When the camera arrives into the city you (the home audience viewer) are deluged by people, buildings, traffic, noise, chaos and activity. Watching masses of people tugged at my heart a bit, I will admit, because it is a quiet life here that is simply unimaginable for a city person. Unimaginable silence. There is a beauty in that silence that can only be felt by the soul who is sitting in sheer bliss, appreciating what it is and savoring every moment. I couldn't help but think, while watching the show, how much "talent" there is here in Montana that goes unrecognized, and under appreciated. The carpenter, the hunter, the farmer, the rancher, the game packager, the horse trainer, the bull rider, the conservationist. The list goes on but you get my point. The artistic skills here thrive in abundance yet go mostly ignored due to their lack of excitement, bling bling and Hollywood influence. But I'm telling you, I'd rather wait four to six months to have a gorgeous log home built by a Montana carpenter than have the instant gratification of listening to an artist sing, or watch an artist act or play in a band. I'm just saying, the talent here is so under rated. Does it take talent to sit on a tractor all day plowing a field of wheat? Yup. I can tell you why from personal experience; driving a tractor requires a great deal of concentration and ability to multitask while hanging onto the wheel as you bounce over gopher holes and rabbit holes and hidden boulders underground and sagebrush roots that all are cause for a dusty bumpy ride. It takes an artist to swing that huge machine around and around while tilling ground to plant the seeds of nature. It's a beautiful thing.............The heart tugs more for my dear friends that I miss so much from day to day, and that, I believe, is much of the cause for my homesickness.
In the coming days I will be very busy creating my own art out in my little Montana garden, planting my seeds and starts of vegetables that hopefully will sustain us throughout the Fall and Winter. I look forward to posting stories about the garden, there's always drama here while attempting to grow during our very short season. Hopefully, I won't be reporting to you that a massive hail storm has wiped out all of my luscious plants by turning them black enough to send them to their eventual death. This is a typical example of how challenging gardening is here, but I have finally learned that the challenge is an essential a element of the beauty.
Until next time,
Susie Rosso Wolf