Friday, August 03, 2007

The Trip - The River That Runs Through It

I haven't seen A River Runs Through It, because I don't trust Robert Redford to make movies without leftist propaganda. But my mom saw it, and she told me it's set in Missoula (where I went to high school and a bit of college), and the river is the Clark Fork River, which runs through town.

After we explored Garnet Ghost Town, we stopped in Missoula at Finnegan's for lunch, and this is the view from our table. The water level is lower than usual for this time of year. It's been dry in Western Montana, even in the winter, so there isn't as much runoff filling up the rivers.

But it sure is beautiful. I watched the water make its way toward the restaurant, and sometimes a yellow leaf would fall off the tree on the left and land on top of the river and float downstream. It seems early for autumn colors, but my mom said this is about when they start, and she would know better than I would.

I got a little teary-eyed as I watched this piece of my high school years drift by. It reminded me that I don't have a place I belong. My heart is here, where houses have front porches and rivers cut through town and mountains surround the valley like sentinels. But I don't belong here anymore.

I've been temporarily in California since 1981. My friends are there, and my kids are there, but my heart isn't.

At each place we've gone (well, not Arizona or Nevada), I've looked around and wondered if this is the place I might want to live after I've been trained as a medical something, and I don't have an answer yet. I feel like one of those yellow leaves, detached from its roots and floating into an unknown future.

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