Monday, April 29, 2019
Twenty four years ago I landed in Montana.
A jaded easterner living in Chicago, I had
no idea what I would see or do. Post a two
hour drive we arrived in Lewistown and I
was hooked. Surrounded by amazing vistas,
dramatic expanses, and dazzling sights. I
simply couldn't believe what lay before my
eyes. Plus Lewistown's historic architecture,
kind people, and quirky charms. And from
then on, I knew I'd found where I belonged.
Working hard and planning ways to make
Montana home. A decision that I celebrate
everyday. It's the best decision I ever made.
Sadly, even when living in paradise one can
become jaded. What once amazed is all too
soon status quo. Thus we rarely appreciate
our individual spheres of influence. Unable
to see the forest for the trees (or visa versa)
se become myopic. Forgetting all that makes
home so sweet. That is until somehow, some
way, somebody reminds us of just how lucky
we are. For the last days "A" has been visiting.
And as her photos shown here show, she has
discovered many of the reasons that central
Montana is so special. Enabling at least two
locals to revisit our sights via her perspective.
While beyond beautiful, this place can also be
brutal. Harsh weather, a tough economy, and a
lack of vision defer us from greatness. That is
until an outsider sees Lewistown for all that it
truly is. Having once been an ingenue myself,
it's inspiring to re-experience our community
from a fresh perspective. Both the good, bad,
and indifferent. Our visitor has been inspired
by the amazing natural beauty that surrounds
us. Yet also rather put off by the obvious lack
of pride few locals take to heart when it comes
to caring for their home turf. Leaving her to
wonder if we truly appreciate all that we have?
Anywhere else, most folks maintain some level
of pride of ownership. Hence they sweep their
sidewalks, wash their windows, and tidy up the
yard. Making their world a better place for all
of us. So why are many of our fellow citizens
unwilling or unable to clean up their (our) act?!
Money has nothing to do with it given elbow
grease costs nada. Are we too distracted by
video games or texting to mow the lawn? Or
is it too stressful to keep our hoarding out of
view? Should one assume we locals are lazy?
A bunch of slobs? Don't give a damn? Blind
to reality? Bad stewards of a legacy of beauty?
Every once in a while it's good to see life via
somebody else's eyes. If for no other reason
than to appreciate just how lucky we are. Is
it time for an attitude adjustment? Rather than
bemoan the fact that Lewistown is isolated -
why not celebrate the fact that it's an oasis far
away from it all. Instead of complaining that
there is nothing to do, try getting involved in
on the local front. Most important, celebrate
all that makes this place so special instead of
wishing you lived any place but here. So step
back and see our community for what it is.
Amazing, wonderful, and beyond UNIQUE.