The Heart of the Big Sky

Roughly a year ago I went up to Montana to visit my sister for her birthday.  On mothers day I drove up to the part of the country, where up until this year, was the one place in the world I had consecutively lived the longest.  Montana was and is imprinted on my soul, it is a part of the world that has that effect on people and for me on that day in the prairie wind I was very much reminded of that.

There is a timeless beauty to the land of the north, something that if you are willing to listen to will speak quiet to parts of your heart that have been to busy to hear.  This is the land that demands your respect, land that reminds you that seasons are just that, seasons.  Nothing last forever, not the cold, not the heat, not the wind, not even the pain.  This land requires you to slow down and breathe with her, to be reminded everything has its purpose, even when your tears blind you from seeing it.

I use to think that the wind just never stopped blowing up here in this great north corner of Montana, but as I stepped out of my car into the tall grass today I was struck by something different all together.

The silence.

Laid to rest

No car traffic, no plane traffic, no children playing, no hum from anything electronic.  Just me, God, and these great northern plains.  Maybe that is why it always seems like the wind is blowing, because even the faintest whisper of a breeze causes the prairie grass to rustle and whisper stories from the depths of her soil.

For the first time in a long time I felt like I could breathe again, not because of the clarity of the air but because I could hear myself.  I had been so busy trying to leave this land that I had forgotten.  My soul must breathe and a soul needs the space of the empty prairie to sigh deeply.

Somewhere between knee high grass and the stars reaching down to embrace the earth there is that much needed, soul craving space to breathe deep and exhale. To let that buried part of you that been trying desperately to keep it together, to crumble a little bit because if you can’t do it here, where the meadowlark can soothe you with her heart piercing song, then where can you just let go?

So today I cried between the sky and the prairie wind, on this day when we honor mothers and I walked amongst the reminders of those who are always taken to soon.  My heart was peeled raw, like Eustace was when he finally eviscerated from the scales of his dragon skin and I was reminded that sometimes chasing what scares us means acknowledging the things that scared us in the past.  Life is so full, sometimes it feels to full, but nothing is without purpose, from the things that make us cry tears, to the moments that makes us smile so hard it hurts.  

The breeze made waves with my hair today as I stared across that flat expanse for as far as my eyes could see and it was then that I knew;  I had finally left home, to go home, to understand what it is to come home.