Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of theseLuke 12:27

Seeds. My eyes opened to the darkness of five a.m. and I couldn’t get the thought out of my head. Many of you around the country would find the thought of seeds in February a bit premature but, here in South Texas, February is a time to begin planning for a new growing season.

However, the thoughts of seeds keeping me awake were seeds of ideas. For a writer, that’s a good thing. Even though I prefer to sleep until the sun comes up most mornings.

I’ve just finished editing my first book, Waltz with a Cowboy, and as I prepare to publish I thought of the inspiration for that book. The seeds for Waltz were planted over 30 years when I moved to Montana with my husband and kids.

Being a city girl and a Texan—born and raised in Dallas—the experience of that first winter in Montana, followed by spring (finally) made a lasting impression. We ended up that year in a mobile home on top of a wind-swept hill in what was affectionately known as “The Badlands” outside of Havre, Montana.

I had never seen anything quite so barren as the high prairie in the winter, or felt as cold. But spring, when it came, brought a transformation to the prairie. What had seemed devoid of life was suddenly teeming with it. Oh, you had to look closely but life was all around—shooting stars, crocuses, wild irises—so much subtle beauty.

This was one of the first of many lessons Montana taught me; beauty is all around, sometimes you just have to look a little harder.

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