Walter Kimberly Parker

At Home in Glacier

My dad took me to Glacier National Park for the first time for my 6th birthday while on a vacation to our family cabin in Montana. Our brightest memories were made from these mountains; jumping into glacial runoff rivers, photographing elusive wildlife, taking deep, deep breaths of the freshest alpine air. It is, undoubtedly, my favorite space to share and provides an unparalleled sense of calm, a place where I feel I am my truest self. In 2015, he made the thoughtful but difficult decision to leave Connecticut (our home) for the Montana frontier, like a wilderness adventure but with the sadness of permanence. Since then, the limited summer days of our time together is spent in the mountains pictured and perhaps that makes them even more meaningful. Moments together are precious and few. My dad’s contact in my phone is “Home” and that it will forever be. When I think of him, I think of these trees, Lake McDonald’s rainbow pebbles beaches, mountain goats, and eating cheese sandwiches on fallen logs. He showed me how to respect the lands on which we walked and explored. He encouraged my curiosity for nature’s wonder and taught me how to be still in the woods – how to find meaning in the grandeur of Mother Earth’s creation. I carry that with me each and every morning I wake and through every deep, deep breath as we sit across the country from one another, waiting to be reunited in that Montana air.