November 13, 2016
Rae is an environmental studies major at the University of Vermont. She participated in the 2016 Montana Afoot and Afloat course and wrote this poem about her time in the Paradise Valley.

Three nights in paradise; frozen finger tips, white as fogged breath in the cool morning from the calm practice of of breaking down a tent.

River beside me flows north, across it sits a large silhouette of a Golden Eagle, who occasionally shrieks out across the river, giving feelings of the power of this land.
Though in his name is golden, he does not glow as the Aspens do, who in the light morning breeze blow their leaves, swirling around us to the ground, feeling as though in a leaf globe as the light comes over the surrounding mountain tops and illuminates the leaves even more.
The slow warming of the day causes droplets on frozen blades of golden grass
The angle so perfectly causes a rainbow of gems along the ground
Not diamonds in the sky and only lasting a few moments, this place where we slept last night is littered with gems.
The eagle calls once more, I snap back to breaking down tent poles
Thinking of being woken by the sand hill cranes this morning, my heart sings
This is home
Home is the journey, the moments, the reciprocated wild in my soul, home is ever changing, it is nature and I am in love.

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