Sometimes in life we meet someone, we go some place, we hear some song, and our breath is completely taken away. We call it stolen, but in truth, we hand it over freely, offer it up like alms to a beggar’s bowl, knowing there is no choice but to do so, knowing that it was always supposed to be this way. Only a handful of times in my nearly 40 years, has this happened to me, only a few people, only a few places. In those moments, without hesitation or slight room for denial, I knew I didn’t mind drowning if it meant that my breath stayed with them, stayed there, for the rest of me. These moments, these precious few and perfect moments, are mileposts that define our lives.
I think of Montana as one of those places that holds a piece of my soul, and I try to get there once a year to recharge, refresh and reset. There is a place near Red Lodge called Yellowstone Dog Sports, created for people who love their dogs and doing things with them. In 2012, I was invited by a friend to join her at a summer camp there, and it has become a part of my summer plans to get there if I can. I've been there 7 summers since then, and this June will be my 8th trip. Outside of camp activities there is downtime to go hiking at any of a number of places within an hour's drive, explore the shops and places to eat in town, or go up on Beartooth Pass or even beyond to Cooke City and Yellowstone.
There are people who have changed my life as well. Some I can recall the moment looking back and if I give it some thought, and some I knew right then in the moment that my life would forever be different. When I met my soulmate, I felt a physical shift, almost as though something seismic had happened on the spot where I stood. Somewhere deep within I felt a sensation as the "something missing" from my life to that point fell into place, like the last piece of a puzzle. My soul knew this person, even though I barely did. Over the last 5+ years since then, I've come to understand what that meant, and it's a beautiful thing.
I think the one place that will always take my breath away is this Redwood forest in Northern California. Every time I go there it feels like it's where I belong. I feel so connected to these Redwoods, if they were ever in danger I would give up everything I have just so they could keep on living.
This is beautiful and sorrowful and angst-ful and I love every piece of it. It brings forth that sense of longing to experience another moment like this, or at the very least, be in the place/with the person/hearing the song that calls it back so clearly. I feel so homesick for so much.