This morning while coffee-ing (like breakfasting, minus the bacon and eggs) in front of the TV, I happened mid-movie upon World Traveler on IFC (Independent Film Channel, which often screens films of interest). I paid attention because of the luscious settings in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, Idaho, and Colorado, and because I recognized renowned actors Julianne Moore and Billy Crudup. The premise and script are very slight: a married-with-child, urban, and successful young man ("Cal") from a paternally-deprived childhood suddenly comes down with a terrible case of ennui that can only be cured by upping and leaving on a cross-country journey of self-discovery. What was a little bit rewarding and a little bit subtle in this take on the age-old theme was the curative power of Nature. Cal's semi-estranged father just happens to live in a wonderul log cabin a few hundred yards from the Oregon coast where, at last, our hero's load of emotional baggage is lifted. After the long and winding journey from New York, Cal confronts, then reconciles with his father (played by David Keith, who looks to be at most 10 years older than Crudup; in their first scene together, I thought he was his brother) in this stunning setting.
Glad as I am for Character Cal that it took so relatively little to put him on the path to emotional and family health and happiness, I was stricken with a terrible case of Nature-envy of my own. After all, on his way to his father's place, Cal passes roadsigns that point to Big Sky and Bozeman, for me both iconic gateways to the Greater Yellowstone area. And his father's cabin could be any-healing-where: the North Woods of Wisconsin/the Michigan UP (where I've been invited to visit this summer, contributing to my current restlessness), anywhere in Yellowstone or the Tetons, or near the Haystacks on the Oregon coast. But I can only be fully cured by going to Yellowstone. It's been nearly a year. Soon, soon, but not nearly soon enough, I will be there again.