I remember the first time we met. I was just an eleven year old girl who’d never been more than a few miles from her Midwest home. You introduced me to mountains for the first time ever, and I fell in love with them… and with you.
Under your Big Sky, I had many firsts… first time camping, first floating the irrigation canal, first high school, first jumping off a bridge into crystal clear, cool Gallatin River, first time snow skiing and first time water skiing. You are where I made my first life-long, there-for-me-anytime friends. My first 4th of July snowfall happened during your watch, too, come to think of it. Thanks for that, by the way.
Tomorrow I drive out of the big, rain-soaked city, leave the Evergreen State and return to you. I bring my most important “First” with me – my first-born son. I pray you watch over him as he takes his first steps on your soil and learns his life-lessons in the shadow of your mountains.
I promise to teach him to respect you and all that is yours… your clean waters, your flowing grasses, and all your wild things. It is said that there is a first time for everything… I am happy my next first is with you, Montana.
with love, from the eleven year old girl who still lives in my heart.