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14 February 2020

On Loneliness and Aloneness - Rattlesnake Creek, Missoula, Montana

“I remember my grandfather telling me how each of us must live with a full measure of loneliness that is inescapable, and we must not destroy ourselves with our passion to escape the aloneness.” 
— 
Jim Harrison (1937-2016)

12 February 2020

Stopping By Snowy Woods - Rattlesnake Creek, Missoula, Montana

Stopping in the woods on a snowy afternoon....
 not quite the classic Robert Frost poem (and no little horse with me - so sad!), but definitely was a lovely and calming pause along the lines of
 "...The only other sound’s the sweep 
  Of easy wind and downy flake."(from Robert Frost's Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening)

08 February 2020

Microclimate View 2 - Greenough Park, Missoula, Montana

Because it was such a tiny, charming, feisty thing, here is another view of yesterday's brave winter-woods plant. (Look at those cunning little bristles!)

07 February 2020

Woodsy Microclimate - Missoula, Montana

During this cozy winter season, I've been pondering microclimates - partly within the ongoing "when it's spring" dreaming of likely locations to dig holes in the yard and plant glorious things. And then partly after a conversation with a hard-core don't-rock-the-boat co-worker who mentioned how she politely piped up in a meeting in which she previously would have kept mum. To my "hip-hip-hooray!" (not full volume, of course!) she replied, Oh, I wouldn't have done it if Colleagues A & B hadn't been in the meeting. Ba-BAM! - instant microclimate musing slides out my mouth!  I mean, so very obvious, right? (Kidding - I realize my brain hopping is quite random about at times...)  
In northern gardening, the short story on a microclimate is that some plants which won't normally survive your climate zone will thrive if you locate them in a specifically sheltered and beneficial spot. (Think: sunny exposure, against a fence or wall, sheltered from wind, good crumbly soil, friendly earthworms...) 
Comparatively, the gist of my related musing is that we create our own microclimates to enable us to endure and even thrive in otherwise soul-killing situations (or soul-freezing scenarios, to be a little less dramatic). In my co-worker's situation, the shelter of got-my-back colleagues strengthened her core and allowed her to bloom. 
I think the warmth and protection of others who care is a fairly common tactic we often leverage without even realizing it. As another example, Delightful Daughter vehemently shakes her head at the mention of  performing solo in public, but has no problem getting on a large stage with some friends, whether in a music setting or in her earlier life as part of an amazing competition cheer team. Personally, I've learned I am spurred more to productive action when in the company of people I love who also love me. And conversely, I know I need at least a few quiet-&-alone, unobligated Saturday mornings to reconstitute my very self.
And then there are the tangible microclimates of small, daily comforts - perhaps a cup of delightfully aromatic tea to ease our stress, with a little bonus aromatherapy.  Or a bracing winter walk to recalibrate optimism amidst a soul-sucking workday. Or finally saying an un-guilty and resounding "yes!"to that attainable activity we keep putting off but it just really makes us happy in an I-can't-stop-smiling-this-silly-smile kind of way.
There's more to be mined on this topic...but that's quite enough out of me for today. 
Pause to ponder briefly, and I bet you'll soon see the shape of your very own charming stacked stone wall built of unmatched chunks of warm care. (Please do share in the comment segment below!)

05 February 2020

Walks Like A Duck - Grant Creek, Missoula, Montana


Last night's cold snap shifted the usual paddling exercise to a walkabout....Perfect for this gutsy song I've had stuck in my head for a few days - "Walking on Water" by Need to Breathe.
  And speaking of ducks, here's a little silly something to brighten this overcast day:
“...He takes a kitchen chair and sits in the yard and all the ducks come around. He holds up the cheese curls in one hand and caramel popcorn in the other and his audience looks up and he tells them a joke. 
He says: So one day a duck come into this bar and ordered a whiskey and a bump and the bartender was pretty surprised, he says, "You know we don't get many of you ducks in here." The duck says, "At these prices I'm not surprised.* 
And he tosses out the popcorn and they laugh. 'Wak wak wak wak wak...""


31 January 2020