I awaken and am immediately struck by the silence . . . the complete stillness. I breathe in the sweet calm of Paradise Valley, Montana. Its name fits.
The western view out my bedside window is of the Gallatin Mountain Range, massive rock faces covered with expanses of white snow, interrupted by bands of deep green pine forest. Even at 8:00 a.m. all I survey is bathed in muted tones of gray as the sun still works its way up from behind the wall of the imposing Absaroka Range to the east.
The Yellowstone River runs through the property, not 100 yards from my window. The sides of the river are beginning to freeze. The only sign of movement in the landscape is the center of the river where the water rushes away, as if trying to escape winter’s grasp, tossing chunks of ice downstream. The bed is warm, the log cabin cozy, and outside is some number of degrees below zero.
Husband stirs beside me. What time is church, I ask. Not until 10, he responds.
That’s good. Time to figure out the espresso machine downstairs. (It’s quite a log cabin.) Let’s go sit by the fire, drink coffee, and watch the sun come up over the mountains. He agrees. For once he has time. I have time. Continue reading