You can look, but remember who it belongs to . . .
I love the mountains. Maybe not as much as my husband, who is a true connoisseur, but why quibble over details?
All my life, I have lived in the 'shadow' of the great Rockys. They were the immovable, dependable wall immediately to the west of us.
Source of direction.
One distinctive peak, in particular, was familiar to us on the ranch. It was our nearest neighbour in the immense range. A huge block of stone, standing alone, with a large, rather squared-off top.
Boy scout troops had been know to clamber to its very summit. Of course, that was in the early days, before danger was invented.
I loved it.
It was my mountain.
I just couldn't remember what it was called . . .
Mom and I were heading toward the ranch.
She was driving.
I was bouncing around in the back seat.
This was before such safety measures as . . . seat belts. Shoulder harnesses.
I had been laying on the back seat, staring up at the roof. Suddenly, I thought of my mountain. I don't know why.
I sat up and leaned over the front seat. “Mom?”
That was her usual response. It didn't necessarily mean that her attention was yours, but it was a start.
Okay, the line was open.
“Where's the Old Indian Hill?”
“The Old Indian Hill.”
She laughed. “Do you mean Old Chief Mountain?”
“Umm, okay.” Whatever. I just knew that the name had something to do with the Native tribes.
“It's right there, Sweetheart. Straight ahead. When we're driving to the ranch, it's right in front of the road.”
She was right. There it was. Rising before us in all its purple glory.
I stared at it. My mountain.
From then on, whenever we were travelling home, I would look out the windshield for my stalwart, immovable beacon.
My guardian. My defender and protector.
The Blackfoot Tribe called it, Ninastiko.
The Peigans, Minnow Stahkoo.
The white man named it many things.
But, to me, it would always be my beloved 'Old Indian Hill'.
Read the legend! http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/ChiefMountain-Blackfoot.html