Montana v. Africa: Tug between now and not yet

BridgersI have a confession: my morning commute is pretty great. Scratch that: all of my commuting is pretty great.

I’m aware that’s kind of … odd.

Well, maybe not. Seriously, people, I just spent a year based in Nairobi, a city with the dubious notoriety as the world’s fourth worst commute. Just about anything, except Moscow or northern China, is a better option.

Every weekday morning, I drive half an hour through a mountain pass between Bozeman and Livingston – and every time, I’m stunned.

I live in a valley surrounded by the Bridgers, the Tobacco Roots, the Spanish Peaks, the Gallatin Mountains and the Madison range. I drive to the entrance of another valley, with a front-row seat to the Abarokas and the Crazy Mountains.

Believe me when I say: it never gets old. The mountains are solid, unmoving. But they change – because of the weather, the light or the seasons – for whatever reason, they are mesmerizing.

Take the photo above. I didn’t edit much – what you see is what I saw: the Bridgers crowned by clouds lit by the sun setting on the other side of the valley.

Awesome, right?

It’s enough to make me want to get comfortable, to set down some roots.

Then, I see images like this:

p861914886-6

AIM photo

And I feel a tug – a hitch in my gut. I remember the laughter, the people, the colors, the textures, the stories.

And I’m reminded: while my path may lead me to the mountains for now, my heart is still in Africa.

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