Laila ambled down the dusty trail toward the river. In the distance, the Gallatin Range rose to meet her, ablaze in the morning light. Laila inhaled the pungent fragrance of sage and closed her eyes; her mother had loved that scent. They’d clipped and taken home handfuls of sage years ago, desperately trying to hold onto the smell of Montana in summer. Laila opened her eyes, and when she reached the river, she splashed her face with icy water. As the creek rushed over flat stones, she knew her mother would always be close, as would her memories of summer.
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