15 March 2013

Whitaker Road Sunset View, Missoula, Montana

I'm so thankful for the extra daylight shifted to the end of the workday.
The morning people are just going to have to tough it out for another month or so to recoup their wake-up daylight.
This view is from the corner of Whitaker and Dean Stone Roads, up above Missoula's South Hills neighborhood.  Click here to look at the map, then scroll down to where the road divides at the pasture, then zoom in for the - believe it or not - rotating street view.

14 March 2013

River Meets Sky, Downtown Missoula, Montana

Mmmmm..... can you just feel the reflective peace seep into your soul? Not yet? Look longer, and breathe in, slowly; out, slowly. Repeat as needed.

Expanses of water and prairie always uplift my state of mind. The stretch of calm, stroked by rippling fingers of wind, provokes a feeling different from the craggy awe of mountains and roaring rivers.

13 March 2013

Rapunzel, Rapunzel....Downtown, Missoula, Montana

If Rapunzel's father was a banker, she might still be up in the tower....

(Click here to take a short virtual stroll starting from this corner of Missoula's downtown.)

12 March 2013

Dyno-mite, Downtown Missoula, Montana

A tradition of artistic expression holds forth in downtown Missoula’s Taco del Sol. You too can flex your sculptural muscles in the medium of leftover foil wrappers. But first you must eat; I heartily recommend their fish taco, a delectable deal at $2.85. If you make it to town for a visit, I’ll even treat.

11 March 2013

Lone Leaf, Missoula, Montana

To a child, the four seasons seem so definitive. A winter scene needs only a few waxy sticks, even if you possess the coveted 64-colour box of crayons. Bare trees are black, twiggy silhouettes against a blue sky. A paper-white ground sets off a green pine next to a solid blue house with a red brick chimney.
Lately, I’ve noticed the seasons bleed one into the next, regardless of the solstice date on the calendar. Winter branches may retain clumps of faded leaves; a Chinook wind pumps temperatures to spring levels for a single day in the middle of a sub-zero week; blooming daffodils poke through a crust of sparkling snow - at least in Montana.
And isn’t it so with deeper issues of our lives? As a child, we like to believe there are obvious bad guys and good guys. But sometimes today’s good guys harbour a past that includes bad choices and far-reaching consequences. I think of this as I see my overdue reminder to write to an elderly friend who abruptly landed in prison, despite his 20-year record as a model parolee. Our daughter questioned, “But I thought he was a good guy?”
Grey technicalities and politics are tricky to explain to a teenager with a strong sense of justice. Our conversation reminded me how thankful I am of two things: that judgment is not in my hands, and that the daily demand for grace is always ready to be satisfied.