We’ve been in our Montana homestead for two weeks. I wanted to say “only” but I do feel as if I’m starting to feel at home. The boxes are dwindling and we’ve cleaned up most of the major debris and boxes inside. We are still waiting on the various bits of furniture we ordered new for the home but most of what we already owned is accessible.
This has opened up some mental space for me to get a lay of the land. Literally. The heatwave that greeted our arrival improved, meaning as long as I am outside before 10am it is pleasant enough for long walks.
I’ve been taking different routes around our rural neighborhood. Where we live outside Bozeman has lots of gravel roads, big plots of land, and interspersed pieces of county and state property in between.
I’ve been making an attempt to walk as many routes as possible circling our land. Part of the exercise is because it is nice to go for long walks but I’m equally interested in feeling like I know the lay of the land and am prepared to navigate our back roads.
I’ve done concentric rings changing my direction as I see fit. I’ve opened them up and tightened them down. I’ve left due east to exit the property and then gone in every direction.
Seeing our land from the east, south, west and north shows completely different things. The closer I am the more I recognize new facets. But I’m learning to spot the lines of our land even as I am further out. The frisson of excitement I get from spotting our house from afar never gets old.
Walking as many types of property lines as I can has sparked my imagination. I spotted where our hedges could use some additional density. I spotted a window upstairs we’d been neglecting to close as it’s for a room that’s still empty. I’ve spotted where the deer seem to prefer coming in (the fawns can’t jump our fences) and where I might prefer to go out if our front drive is blocked.
The exploration has been grounding. I have a firmer sense of place. My body is beginning to recognize where I am. And it’s an absolutely lovely way to get in some thinking. I highly recommend walking the lines of your property and your neighbors. You never know what you might find.