08 February 2013

U of M Bridge View, Missoula, Montana

Backdoor mountain scenes are often touted as perks of living and working in Montana. One would hope this view en route to the nearest grocery market would inspire young minds at the University of Montana. Sadly, it won't pay the rent, so sharpen your budget skills before relocating to Big Sky Country.

07 February 2013

Making Tracks, Clark Fork River, Missoula, Montana

I wonder - do squirrel and bunny mothers warn their young of the typical winter dangers?
"If the ice breaks and you fall in and achieve hypothermia, don't come crying to me!" Or, "I'm trying to explain the concept of cold and metal to you, but if you lick that pole at the forest edge, plan on staying overnight!"
(Of course I made these up! What rational, loving, furry forest creature would say such things to their offspring?)

06 February 2013

Winter Nest, Missoula, Montana

Things can be blown hither and yon from disparate beginnings, yet wind up cozily nested.
This puts me in mind of treasured friendships. Kindred spirits, in Anne of Green Gables speak, may grow up next door to each other, or they may start out lives in whole other countries only to wind up with hearts knit tight as those of the best kind of sisters. One of my favourite promises is that God puts the solitary in families. He designed us to be a part of warmth and love much bigger than we can manufacture on our own. Often we have to break out of lonely comfort zones to see that happen. Sometimes we find family when we reach out to someone else who is alone.
My mother was a great one for enlarging the family boundaries. She never hesitated to say, “Join us!“ to those hovering on the fringes. Christmas and Thanksgiving were the ultimate occasions to press into service all the dining table leaves and add some version of a table on the end, all united by creamy tablecloths, lace layered over solid. And there was always plenty of both food and laughter to go around, regardless of the economy at home or at large.

05 February 2013

Seasons Intersect, Pattee Canyon, Missoula, Montana

It’s a mystery why this cluster of leaves remains as the lone grouping left over from autumn. Whatever the reason, it provides a colourful interlude amidst a repetition of snow and pines. And I was in the perfect place at the right time to enjoy the contrast.

04 February 2013

Seed Stalk, Crazy Canyon, Missoula, Montana

This picture just made me sigh a medium-sized peaceful sigh. I just want to look at it and think calming thoughts - about new flower seeds, and digging in the dirt, and the sun-gold ripeness of a just-picked tiny pear tomato bursting to life in a single, delectable bite. But all of that will have to wait a few more months.

03 February 2013

Freedom Curves, Pattee Canyon, Missoula, Montana

Blanketed silence, but for the shuush-shuush-shuushing of distant skiers along the groomed trail.

In my limited experience, actual strapping on skis is a far cry from working out on a NordicTrack. You might be mentally contrasting a four-wall view against the freedom of shuushing along a trail, sun diamonds on the snow, hair flying out from the bottom of your toque. For me, I remember that I tend to awkwardly tilt on the machine and must leverage my grip on the "poles" to stave off carpet burn. On actual skis, I stayed pretty upright, perhaps motivated by a childhood abhorrence of snow inevitably wedging in the back of my pants.

Thinking more on freedom, I was challenged this weekend with some serious thoughts about it and wanted to share the resources that provoked me. If you would like to learn more about friends of mine who are committed to freeing young women in desperate need of rescue, or are needing to gather hope toward more of your own internal freedom, I invite you to click the text links in this last paragraph.