Sigh….. were to start. This post is an emotional one. It’s all about looking back. In this case looking back to the life of a beloved Aunt and also looking back to the place where my love for photography began. To be honest… I’m already tearing up writing this post, and I’m only one sentence in.
Last week I went HOME. The place where I spent the first 18 years of my life. The place I will always, to the day I die, think of as home. Sure I love Boise, I’ve lived her for 15 years and I have no desire to move. I do consider it home, but the old family ranch has a special place in my heart. It’s hard to explain. It’s not the old house that draws me in. It’s the scenery, the never ending wind….. the smell of the dry summer grass, the complete calm that over comes me every time I drive over the hill and see the old home place. It’s just home.
This little place in Montana is not only special to me… but the entire Leap Clan. This is the place were my siblings and I were born and raised, my Dad and his two sisters were born and raised and my grandpa spent his entire life. Lots of memories reside within these property lines for each one of us who spent any time here.
It all started in the early 1900’s when my great grandfather had the idea to move out west. To homestead. He chose a remote piece of property in Central Montana and built his place. He and my great grandmother set roots and the family has been attached to the land every since. Although my father had to sell the ranch a few years back, we all still feel drawn to the land.
I’d like to say I returned home just for all the warm fuzzies I get when I turn down the road to the place, a road the county has now named “Leap Lane”. The 1.5 mile drive down the road, round the corner and over the hill to see the ranch emerge through the rolling hills is one that can make you feel happy. Unfortunately this time, that was not the case. The drive down the road brought tears to my eyes. This time, the return home was not only the first time I’d been back to the ranch since before my father sold the place… but it was for a very important family gathering. The entire family gathered together to accomplish one goal. To spread my Aunt’s ashes. She’d been fighting MS for 21 years, and she finally lost the battle last September. It was her final wish to “go home”. To spend eternity in her favorite spot on earth. At the top of the hill, where the wind always blows looking down on the ranch.
So, we all went home. Home to spread Linda’s ashes and while their take a deep breath, soak in the scenery and reflect on a lady that had touched us all in her own special way.
This post is for you Aunt Linda. You will now always be HOME!