Wednesday, September 28, 2011


"This is a moon rock," she said.  "Yeah, it's a moon rock because it looks like the moon and it came from the moon.  It fell off of it while it was sleeping and landed here."
My first thought on Wednesday evening was that I would drop little man off with his dad to make some rounds on the tractor with him while he was seeding winter wheat.  I would then proceed home for a while with the little lady and get some chores done so that life might not be so chaotic as we prepared to leave for Missoula later in the week.

My second, infinitely better, thought was that he would ride the tractor, while her and I explored the Green Trail looking for treasures of yesteryear.  The Green Trail is a two track dirt road extending from Brockway to the west.  Largely abandoned except for the occasional farm vehicle or fall hunter, it meanders straight west up and down hills, undoubtedly tying together many paths of history.  And like most dirt road two track trails around here, every year brings a new crop of rocks, bullet shells, long lost tractor parts, and with enough patience and the right eye, tools of the native trade:  scrapers, rocks that have clearly been manipulated by human hand and arrowheads, the greatest find of all.

As my girl and my dog and I walked that evening, we found the most beautiful rocks and had the most beautiful conversations.  From moon rocks to talking about her Grandpa Bob losing the shells and tractor pieces (and how happy he would be if he knew that we had found them), I was reminded that I need to take more time to stop and smell the roses freshly planted soil and the hint of smoke in the air from the wildfires preparing to die in the mountainous areas west of us.

I sometimes mourn the fact that we live almost 1,000 miles from the ocean.  Walking along though with my head turned downward in true beachcomber fashion, I realized that these roads, these hills, these are my beach.  Just as you can see to the horizon and dream about what is beyond as you look across the ocean, so too can I see to the horizon and dream even more deeply and wildly about what lies beyond.  I know that there is way more than just water. 

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