Is time accelerating, or is it just me?!  We just passed the 4th of July, and in southwestern Montana where I have been since the end of April, summer really did just begin on June 20th.  Now I know I’ll be leaving in early August and I feel rushed.  It doesn’t feel possible.

My time in Montana has been fantastic.  It’s kind of ironic after living in this area for the first 23 years of my life that upon my return 19 years later, I am seeing everything through completely different eyes.  I always knew the area was pretty, but I also thought the grass just must be greener in other lands, and there were so many other places to explore.  This time, I am awestruck by the surrounding natural beauty.  Mountain range after mountain range with the snow-covered peaks, the lush valleys, the shear ruggedness of this land makes me wonder where the grass could be greener.  Not only do I have a greater appreciation for the beauty, it just feels different.  Perhaps I’m seeing through the eyes of a newcomer.

Spring ride!  Spring Ride with great views!

2012-05-14_13-10-02_785   Spring view of the Pintler range

In addition to the natural beauty, it’s the people of this area that have struck me in a new way.  The people here know no strangers.  Albeit my Mom and Dad live here and know the community, I feel like I have been welcomed with open arms.  Volunteering to help with the various community activities is something I enjoy and has enabled me to get to know the locals and develop further fondness for this place.  It’s a nice feeling of familiarity when people greet me with a smile and hello using my first name.

IMG_0157  Driving out of the West Fork of the Bitterroot River

We visited with a traveling group of Model T drivers who said they love coming to Montana each year just for the people.  They echoed my sentiment that wherever you go, people are friendly and know no strangers.

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The nearest sizable town (by Montana standards) is Butte, where I grew up.  Butte is a mining town with colorful history due to its mining heritage.  I have found the town is really changing, and in my opinion, for the better.  The historic uptown area is being redeveloped while keeping the historic feel.  New condos exist within once dilapidated buildings, and the area hosts among other things a hip market, health food store, bike shop, funky coffee shops, restaurants, various shops, a new distillery and two new breweries are in the works.  Additionally, about every block has a bar and some have gotten a face lift since my college days.

People of Butte possess the friendly, “I’ll give you the shirt off my back” once I get to know you, sit down and have a beer with me, welcome to my town pride that gives the sense they know no strangers.  The town developed due to the underground mines, but the community was built by the immigrants who came to work in the mines.  They built a foundation of strong patriotic, help thy neighbor, and loyal pride that still exists today.

I realize as I travel around, I am keeping my eyes open for the community that feels right. My pre-conceived notion based on past experience is I will find a resort-type community in the mountains in which to settle for a while. Part of me wanted to explore the notion of returning to Montana, but not to Butte. When I left I couldn’t wait to leave; I was not satisfied, so why would I want to return?  However, given the reasons stated above, I have had to ponder.  As I spend time parked about 45 minutes from Butte, I realize I am happy here, the vistas are superb, the people are great, and I enjoy the sense of freedom the rugged land offers.  I guess I had to change to really appreciate what my homeland has to offer.

IMG_0192   Looking towards the Idaho border from the Bighole Valley

However, now is not the time for me to make a decision on settling in somewhere.  In September, I’m off to Santa Fe to study hypnotherapy at the Hypnotherapy Academy of America.  I am following the cues and synchronicities and that’s where they are guiding me.  My passion for learning about the subconscious mind, its connection to spirituality and what the new quantum sciences are proving, will be fed through studying hypnotherapy.  I also want to pursue additional modalities and studies out there with the intent of developing skills to help people heal in all ways.  Therefore, I will take what I’m feeling about my time in Montana on these next journeys and will see where they take me…perhaps back to Montana again!