31 July 2018

Alliteration Illustrated - Stevensville, Montana

My favourite guest-poster strikes again! Big thanks to Pat Richards for sharing her thoughts and visuals from their recent Montana visit.
Alliteration Illustrated
The babbling brook bubbles by.
And indeed it did!
Musically mesmerizing my soul.
Relaxation music courtesy of Mother Nature

While the Bitterroot River can hardly be termed a brook, simply sitting on a rock watching and listening as it flows by is one of my favorite Montana pastimes.   
- Pat

26 July 2018

Repetition - Missoula, Montana

Practice builds habits
Our habits are our character
When it comes to virtue, practice “makes a very great difference — or rather, all the difference.” 
- Eric Greitens, Resilience

(Y'all think some deep thoughts, now, on how repetition and resilience and bees and coneflower patterns all tie together...then let me know how you connected these particular dots!)

25 July 2018

Everyday Miracles - Missoula, Montana

There are two ways you can live your life:
as though nothing is a miracle,
as though everything is a miracle.”

(Omigosh -  thank you, Janet Martin, for painting another great word image:
 "...The fervor of [today's] live-laugh-love / Unfurling from God’s kiss."
Read Janet's full poem in the preceding text link - or here, if not obvious.)

(& many thanks to a dedicated child sponsor for this quote, included in Comments at this moving & motivating blog post from Compassion International.)

23 July 2018

Quiet Reflection.- Missoula, Montana

Today's gorgeous evening view overlooking Missoula is courtesy of Pat Richards, who also shares her hands-on India / Asia perspectives at
Thanks, Pat, for always making the time to share your guest blogger Montana perspectives!

In moments of quiet reflection, I begin to see clearer the depths of who I am. 
Are the waters of my soul still, clear, reflecting light?
I pray it is so.

For the world beyond deserves to see beauty, light and life in me.

18 July 2018

Be Ready When Opportunity Knocks - Missoula, Montana

The Best Husband Ever noticed this undaunted little ant on the bike trail - and promptly launched into a running commentary which he certainly thought to be amusing. 
(TBHE - not the ant.) 
Suffice it to say, topic range included plank-in-your-eye-Bible-verse corollaries and first-person (er....first-ant?) smart remarks. 
We shall not quote verbatim.

Fast forward to yesterday evening's perfect weather for ice cream. Walking out the door (literally!), I called our friend, Carrie, to say, "Hey, we can pick you up in 5 minutes to go for ice cream - our treat!"  My announcement that we were at her back door cut off her explanation of why she looked like s**t - and off we went to Sweet Peaks!

Long story short, amidst the sublime throes of Strawberry Fields (single scoop on a cake cone), she noted how glad she was that she joined our impromptu outing even though she looked like s**t, and quipped, "I was not prepared, but I'm ready."

Aaaand after my immediate comment of "That line makes me almost wish I was on Twitter!",  thence commenced a slightly prolonged and semi-deep conversation around isn't-that-really-just-a-great-rule-to-live-by. 

And I thought again of the little ant, seizing the unexpected and relatively ginormous pine needle find, and proceeding willy-nilly down the bike path to wherever he thought it was needed.

We can't all be Boy Scouts, be we can be ready to say yes to the unexpected - especially when there's ice cream.

09 July 2018

Thistle Be Gorgeous and Moody - Missoula, Montana

"Josie is a Pye," said Marilla sharply, "so she can't help being disagreeable. I suppose people of that kind serve some useful purpose in society, but I must say I don't know what it is any more than I know the use of thistles...."
- from Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery, Ch. 37

03 July 2018

Patience Under The Big Sky - Clark Fork Bike Trails, Missoula, Montana

Yes, that is the still-patient (which is not quite the same as ever-patient...) Best Husband Ever, waiting at the top of the hill and under that glorious sky while I climb on a park bench for elevated perspective. 
(I am pleased to report that his patience yesterday ended up with the just reward of Sweet Peaks - plus new ice cream flavours!)

02 July 2018

No Place LIke Home - Missoula, Montana

We passed this lovely view midst a meandering Sunday evening bike ride to see what was at the west end of South Avenue. (In case you wonder, it's NOT the one lane bridge envisioned in my brain - THAT is at the west end of North Avenue, and now I can keep this tidbit straight in my brain.) 
Despite the scores of meadow-mountain-sky photos in my snapshot history, I was drawn yet again to the contrasting blue and gold, the tenacious weathered post, the wind visible in varied cloud shapes. The Best Husband Ever stopped and waited - without complaint! - yet again as I snap-snap-snapped away at minutely adjusted angles. (However, his goodwill stopped short of sympathy when my front bike tyre shifted and shimmied to deliver a smack of bike frame against my right knee. But then, there was no blood, so I should be glad he at least didn't guffaw as a sister might in similar circumstance - once she knew you were okay.) 
Truth be told, I almost didn't stop, on grounds that I'd taken and posted enough photos of similar views. 
But then I rebelled at such sad pseudo-logic, instead choosing to unapologetically partake of and mark the beauty of that very moment, which is unique from any other composition of the same elements before and since. 
And so it should be with our days that we describe as, "Not much..." when asked what we've been up to lately. What if we rather say the truth of, "Oh, I've been glorying in the small beauties of weed puffs and random yard art along my lunchtime walking route!" Perhaps we'd spark a small revolution in defense of the daily intricate beauties of home, even if just in the heart of that one person.
As much as I love to travel and engage with new friends and surroundings, I love to be at home, and am always a bit torn at the crossroads of these two yens. So, reading the following quote was akin to the distilling of tension when ending chords of a song resolve. 
I hope you are likewise provoked to relish the beauty in today's ordinary, wherever you are located.

“Why do you go away? 
So that you can come back. 
So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. 
And the people there see you differently, too. 
Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
  - Terry Pratchett,
A Hat Full of Sky

29 June 2018

Of Light And Believing - Missoula, Montana

 "When the days were at their darkest, I couldn't imagine believing in light again. 
But as with all natural things, I suppose, my faith is returning, and I find that my heart and my head need to be put to use again."
"I can't imagine being so certain in my belief," Sorrel said. "I'm jealous, I suppose, of yours."...
"Your faith couldn't be much stronger, my little gardener, you just don't give it a name."
-From The Forbidden Garden by Ellen Herrick, p. 271

28 June 2018

Hatched - Missoula, Montana

“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: 
  it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly
   while remaining an egg. 
We are like eggs at present. 
And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. 
We must be hatched or go bad. ” 
- C. S. Lewis, from Mere Christianity, (p. 198-199, or 170-171, depending on edition)

22 June 2018

Wide Open - Missoula, Montana

“When the soul throws its windows wide open, letting in the sunshine, and presenting to all who see it the evidence of its gladness, it is not only happy, but it has an unspeakable power of doing good.“
-Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924)