"He was born in the summer of his 27th year, coming home to a place he’d never been before. He left yesterday behind him, you might say he was born again."
Rocky Mountain High, John Denver
I always thought lyrics like that were corny. Blah, blah. Most places are very much the same, particularly if you live there. Day to day life, going to work, taking care of the business and the house doesn’t change very much regardless of where you live. I figure I can say that since I’ve seen a good piece of the world and, although the architecture and scenery can be very different, I never really connected to either a geographic area or the people. There have been lots of nice places and people but I was always glad to leave. Move on, see something new. Restless.
That all changed when I visited Northwest Montana and the Flathead Valley. The place just felt right. Snow covered Swan Mountains to the east, the wild Salish Range to the west and the magnificent mountain ranges of Glacier National Park to the north.
To the south is Flathead Lake, the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi. Yes its big, the remnant of ancient glaciers, the lake is more than twenty-seven miles long and fifteen miles wide. The lake not only mellows the spirit but is big enough to have an effect on the local climate moderating the weather enough for cherries and other fruit trees to grow in an area surrounded by mountains covered by snow ten to eleven months of the year.
Mountains are nice but coming home is more than just geography and pretty scenery. You can find ‘nice’ in a lot of places. The land, the mountains all had the ‘feel’. They felt right in total. It was more than a living picture, it was a living masterpiece. It spoke to me. Lucky for me it also spoke to my wife Kat.
Maybe this place isn’t for everyone. Actually I’m hoping it’s not, I’m hoping you find your happy spot in Florida or North Carolina or anywhere else. I’d hate to see my paradise turn into condos. I’ve only owned a piece of it for a month and I’m already feeling possessive.
Over the next couple of years the transition will become complete. Good things take time. But like Jerry Maguire said, “You complete me.”