30 December 2020

Neurosis At Bay, For Today - Greenough Park, Missoula, Montana

“I think it was Thomas Merton who said that the easiest way to rid yourself of neurosis is to surround yourself with nature, or more specifically trees.

"You can't be neurotic in front of a bunch of trees," he claimed; nor, I hasten to add, in front of dunes or sea or humble scrub pine. 

Standing here at the edge of the world shows me how exaggerated my own emotions seem to be. 

This, strong, silent place interrupts confusion, rage, and depression, and just now I feel more at home with the landscape than with people.”

-Joan Anderson, in A Year By The Sea, p.13

Tall Tree Shadows - Greenough Park, Missoula , Montana- Copyright 2020 Cyndy Hull

28 December 2020

Infinite Flow - Missoula, Montana

Best book dedication I’ve read lately:
Dear Grandma, 
Because you lived as is there was no finish line.
May we all learn to live such an infinite life.

- Simon Sinek, from The Infinite Game

25 December 2020

Looking Toward Joy - Missoula, Montana

“I read somewhere that the Frenchwoman's role is to please others, but to please herself in the process ! This concept is new for me, that my own joy is my responsibility . Only I can receive it , and, likewise, only I can allow others to take it away. Not this Christmas ! I've had my fill of bleak midwinters and now set my sights on joy.”    
-Joan Anderson, in A Year By The Sea, p. 72

21 December 2020

Nice and Quiet - Missoula, Montana

“Silence is a good friend, I repeat, as if saying a mantra. It allows for the natural progression of things. 

Still, I remain nervous, anxious to fill the void as I used to with interesting questions, chit chat, sweet nothings that nice girls like me were taught to utter. ...Now what takes the place of nice, I wonder?”

-Joan Anderson, in A Year By The Sea, p. 73

20 December 2020

Finding More In Less - Missoula, Montana

“Having taken myself away, I am in a frame of mind to wait and see rather than manipulate and direct. 

Living with nature has taught me the dignity of being without motive...[it] has served to help me find more in less.”

-Joan Anderson, in A Year By The Sea, p. 69

14 December 2020

Following - Missoula, Montana

 “ follow God does not often mean traveling with certainty about where God will lead us. Rather, following God propels us to be present to the place where we are, for this is the very place where God shows up.”
Jan L. Richardson,
Through the Advent Door: Entering a Contemplative Christmas

(FYI, today's photo is a little hot-summer-day infusion into a snowy week....) 

13 December 2020

True Christmas Spirit - Missoula, Montana

 My son-in-law LOOOVES Ferrero Rocher truffles (or whatever loveliness they’re classified as). So, of course I thought of him when a few came my way amidst other holiday treats. Then I texted these snaps to him, with a little pause in between. Yes, Virginia, the Christmas spirit is alive and well in Montana.  (And yes, I ate  it.)  

10 December 2020

Humble Clarity - Greenough Oark, Missoula, Montana

That inner voice has both gentleness and clarity. So to get to authenticity, you really keep going down to the bone, to the honesty, and the inevitability of something.” - Meredith Monk

08 December 2020

Restful Moving - Greenough Park, Missoula, Montana

What makes a river so restful to people is that it doesn't have any doubt—it is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn't want to go anywhere else.” -Hal Boyle (1911-1974)
 (Despite floating through this blog several times before, this quote still provokes timely thoughts. Maybe even deep thoughts....)

07 December 2020

Faerie Cottage, Perhaps... - Greenough Park, Missoula, Montana

 You and I who still enjoy fairy tales have less reason to wish actual childhood back. We have kept its pleasures and added some grown-up ones as well.” -C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)

06 December 2020

Whigmaleerie Stump - Greenough Park, Missoula, Montana

Today’s splendid found word, courtesy of C.S Lewiswhigmaleerie

2. A whim, fanciful notion, a crotchet, fad, vagary (Source: Dictionary of the Scots Language)

“...I’m talking of science, not of Butler and Bergson and Shaw and all those whigmaleeries.

-p. 49, The Dark Tower story fragment by C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)

01 December 2020

28 November 2020

Just Pay Attention - Missoula, Montana

“It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.”
— Praying by Mary Oliver (1935-2019)

26 November 2020

Grateful, Fruitful - Missoula, Montana

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
Marcel Proust (1871-1922)

21 November 2020

Off-Season Reflections - Polson, Montana

 “... And I'm just a reflection of the love that I've been given 
Everybody wants to be somebody, I wanna be somebody too
If I'm gonna be known for something, I wanna be known for You...”

18 November 2020

On Sunset And Friendship - Livingston, Montana

“Sweet is the memory of distant friends! Like the mellow rays of the departing sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart.”  
-Washington Irving (1763-1859)

16 November 2020

Looking Left - Livingston, Montana

Today, I have good news! Well, at least within a very small proverbial sphere...of me, myself, and I...but I sincerely wish this same news upon you (and you, and you-ou!) also, which is: This morning, I pulled on a pair of tweedy winter trousers that I haven’t worn since last winter...AND THEY FIT JUST FINE!!! Those of you who have worked from home for any stretch within the past 10 months understand why this is cause for all-caps and exclamation points. So, take heart (plus nap, walk in the snow, and eat more good protein and salad) and be nice to yourself!

13 November 2020

Friday 13th Regroup - Near Livingston, Montana

Spooky Friday the 13th Thought:
After working so hard and continuously to root out passive aggressive behaviours gleaned from various childhood influencers, I (literally) laughed out loud today upon realizing that - ironically - the ability to speak this language is now a useful item in my very own corporate toolbox. Spooky but true that people i like will sometimes just not respond to a clearly worded message yet will digest the same message carefully couched in the most obtusely apologetic phrases you wish you did not have to craft.
But all is not lost! At least these days I know when I tilt that direction, and its a last resort to attain a worthwhile goal! Plus, these things propel you out into wide open, soul-saving, deep-breathing spaces.

10 November 2020

03 November 2020

Will-lessly Fall - Missoula, Montana

"Will-lessly the leaves fall,
are blown, 
coming at last
to the ground and to their rest.
Among them in their coming down
purposely the birds pass..."
-From This Day collection by Wendell Berry

02 November 2020

01 November 2020

27 October 2020

Morning Silence - Corvallis, Montana

"I saw old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand, shadowless like Silence, listening
To silence..."
- From Autumn by Thomas Hood (1798-1845)
(Many thanks to Big Brother #3  for this sweeping Bitterroot Valley sunrise!)

25 October 2020

7 Degrees F - Corvallis, Montana

 As we drove down the Bitterroot Valley this morning to a special church service at The Place, The Best Husband Ever commented how bizarre that a mere month ago we were riding bikes in 80 degree F. 
But then he countered that you only see the mountain edges so crisply cut when it’s this cold and clear. Brrrrrr-eautiful!

22 October 2020

Skiff of Snow - Missoula, Montana

Had to scrape my windshield this morning ... My "winter is coming" denial must come to an end... I suppose....if it must...I will melt off by noon, so I'm not pulling out my parka just yet!


19 October 2020

While Walking With A Friend - Polson, Montana

 “It was William Penn who, centuries ago, described the seven features of deep-hearted friendship in this way:
   "A true friend unbosoms freely,
   Advises justly,
   Assists readily,
   Adventures boldly,
   Takes all patiently,
   Defends courageously, and
   Continues a friend unchangeably." “
Herbert Lockyer (1886-1984) in a summary regarding Epaphroditus

16 October 2020

Perfect Golden Gloaming - Greenough Park, Missoula, Montana

"...When springs run low, and on the brooks,
In idle golden freighting,
Bright leaves sink noiseless in the hush
Of woods, for winter waiting..."
Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885), October's Bright Blue Weather

(The colours really were this perfect!)


15 October 2020

Bosky View - Greenough Park, Missoula, Montana

 “Bosky” - a favourite word that can’t be trotted out on a daily basis so hurrah for this opportunity! Yesterday, we traipsed Greenough Park’s bosky golden-glow trail, delighting in a new view at every riverbank twist.

14 October 2020

Dreams of Autumn Leaves - Greenough Park, Missoula, Montana

A great night of generosity toward the ongoing good work at the LA Dream Center! There is still opportunity to be a part - you can even still bid on that lunch with Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell! (Some pretty interesting connections here....!

Oh, yah - sorry - a bit distracted - the leafy view is all Montana, earlier this evening. Enjoy!

13 October 2020

Full On Fall - Bitterroot Valley, Montana

It’s rather amazing how much can change when you go away for a week! Western Montana is definitely into full-on fall!  

Speaking of our week away, photos and thoughts from Sissie #3 are posted at We had a great week with amazing people on all sides of the missions equation. 

For something good, both to watch AND invest in, tune in with us tomorrow night to the Dream Center’s 2020 Night of Dreams virtual fundraising gala. It’s sure to be a fun and uplifting time! (And I still want to know how they got Olivia Newton John involved!)

12 October 2020

Canadian Thanksgiving - Bitterroot Valley, Montana

Hope you all enjoyed  a great Canadian Thanksgiving day! Bitterroot Valley fall leaves cooperated to give Big Brother #3 a perfect Montana photo to honour our Canadian roots.

05 October 2020

Aerial View - Near Missoula, Montana

 Aerial views again, at last! Despite a slightly smudgy window, the smoke-filtered sunrise delineating Missoula’s mountain ranges was balm to my sleep-fogged brain. We are off to a long-awaited (& COVID-safe) week of volunteering at the Dream Centre. It’s gonna be an extra- great week!

01 October 2020

Vast Layers - Mission Mountains, Montana

Random thought on today’s work outfit:
Interesting that structured layers in clothing visually reduce (ie you’ll never know I’m perplexed at sneaky fat regions! Well, except, now you do…), but structured layers in mountain ranges visually reveal an inkling of vastness.

28 September 2020

Freshly Snow-Capped - Mission Mountains, Montana

Just as suspected: Clouds from valley rain this weekend kissed the Mission mountaintops with fall snow. First fruits of full winter glory...

27 September 2020

September Wild Daisy - Flathead Lake, Montana

If the path set before her feet was to be narrow she knew that flowers of quiet happiness would bloom along it... ” - L.M. Montgomery (1874-1942) in Anne of Green Gables

25 September 2020

Stormy Weather - Flathead Lake, Polson, Montana

Stormy skies in the weekend forecast - but Flathead Lake is a boon to the soul in any weather. Add to the horizon stretching view a sumptuous, scrumptious patio dinner at Mrs Wonderful’s Cafe and you have the recipe for a perfect Friday night in western Montana

22 September 2020

Mountain Shadows - Mission Mountains Near Arlee, Montana

Mission Mountain views - or those of any of Montana’s mountain ranges - never get old. Just when you think you have a level of familiarity, shifting sunbeams and shading clouds reveal layers and canyons previously unnoticed. It’s like a whole new view with any change in timing or weather. 

21 September 2020

Cookies On Fitbit - Missoula, Montana

 Hmmmm.... cookies or running?....such a difficult choice - - - NOT!

(Here's a tasty thought: Buy cookies from Mary the mountain mama, then hustle around the corner to Sweet Peaks for the most amazing ice cream and - voila! - best ever ice cream sandwiches, with a double scoop of mountain references, no less! That SHOULD dial up some extra Fitbit numbers...)

20 September 2020

Rain-washed View - Flathead Lake, Montana

Enjoying morning coffee and the rustic hospitality of the US Park Service. (Let’s hear it for car camping! Woot woot!) Yesterday brought much-needed rain to the region so, thankfully, the only smoke I smell today is via my cozy campfire.

18 September 2020

Diminished Visibility - Missoula, Montana

Visibility is down to 3 miles at the Missoula, Montana, airport, but I think it's even less as you head to the east side of town. Despite the unhealthy fug, we are thankful to not see flames on the mountains bordering town and continue to pray for communities with far greater fire-related concerns.


15 September 2020

Hazy Horizon - Bitterrroot Valley, Montana

Mountains fading into wildfire smoke...lately, we're just glad to see ANY mountains! But those masks are handy now for more than just social safety...